On June 24, 1972, 14-year-old Michael Steven Akey was reported to be abducted by an unknown subject near a watermelon patch at Trammell’s Market — which in at the time was in the area of Joe Frazier and Godwin roads in Burton.
At the time of the abduction, he was in the company of two juvenile friends, who reported that the they, along with Akey, were hitchhiking and were given a ride by a male subject in a 1962 or 1963 four-door Chevrolet.
The two juveniles advised that the subject drove them to a watermelon patch, where the two got out of the vehicle, while Akey remained behind with the unknown subject.
When they arrived at the watermelon patch, the subject stopped and the two got out and proceeded to steal watermelons, while Akey remained behind with the unknown subject in the vehicle.
The juveniles reported that, while they were in the patch stealing watermelons, the subject drove off with Akey and left them behind. They advised that they did not see Akey or the subject, who they claimed to have never seen before, again.
On February 8, 1978, while clearing land near Whitehall Plantation on Lady’s Island, workers discovered human skeletal remains.
The remains were examined by forensic pathologists and anthropologists, who using technology available at the time, believed the remains to be those of Michael Akey. Following those examinations, the remains — presumed to be Akey’s — were interred at Beaufort National Cemetery.
With marked improvements in technology, investigators and the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office exhumed the remains for identification through mitochondrial DNA analysis on August 24, 2005.
Portions of the remains and DNA samples from Akey’s siblings were delivered to the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia for mitochondrial DNA analysis. The FBI concluded that the skeletal remains were Akey.
The remains of Michael Akey were re-interred.
The subject — who the two juveniles described as Caucasian, in his twenties, with short hair — has not been identified nor has the cause/manner of Akey’s death established.