At least two local law enforcement agencies broke record for homicides in 2020

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – At least two local law enforcement agencies reported a record number of homicides in 2020.

News13 reached out to 16 agencies in the News13 viewing area for information about the number of homicides investigated by each agency, in each of the last few years. We will update the information as more agencies provide data.

Note that this list breaks down homicide investigations by agency, rather than by county. For example, not all of the homicides investigated within Horry County will be listed with the Horry County Police Department because some of the cases may have been handled by the Myrtle Beach Police Department or another agency.

A national report from late November indicated that the coronavirus pandemic played a big part in the rise of violent crimes, including murders, in 2020.

In October, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Chief Mark Keel said in a media release that he was concerned the violent crime rate statewide would increase more in 2020 than it did in 2019 because of what he called “many stresses” faced in 2020.

LOCAL AGENCIES

The Horry County Police Department investigated 33 new homicides in 2020, which officials believe is a record for the county agency. In 2019, the department investigated just 10 homicides.
2020: 33
2019: 10
2018: 20
2017: 23
2016: 23
2015: 19
2014: 19

The Myrtle Beach Police Department investigated five homicides in 2020, its largest number since 2016.
2020: 5
2019: 4 (1 justifiable homicide)
2018: 4
2017: 4 (1 justifiable homicide)
2016: 5 (1 justifiable homicide)
2015: 7
2014: 6

The Conway Police Department saw its largest number of homicide investigations in a single year since 2016, with three.
2020: 3
2019: 1
2018: 1
2017: 2
2016: 3
2015: 2
2014: 1

The North Myrtle Beach Department of Public Safety did not investigate any new homicides for the first time since 2015.
2020: 0 
2019: 1
2018: 2
2017: 1
2016: 2
2015: 0
2014: 0

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office investigated six homicides in 2020, a department record. The department says six people were killed in five separate cases. The agency added that four of the five cases were domestic-related.
2020: 6
2019: 0
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 2
2015: 0
2014: 0

The Florence County Sheriff’s Office saw 19 new homicides in 2020, its most in a single year in at least seven years. When asked if this was a department record, a spokesperson responded, “I can’t say whether it is a record or not, but the numbers speak for themselves.”
2020: 19 (1 negligent homicide)
2019: 12 (1 justifiable homicide and 1 negligent manslaughter)
2018: 16 (1 negligent homicide)
2017: 12
2016: 7
2015: 3
2014: 2

The Florence Police Department saw its lowest number of homicides, six, since 2017.
2020: 6
2019: 7
2018: 9 (1 justifiable homicide)
2017: 5
2016: 1
2015: 4
2014: 2
2013: 2

The Lake City Police Department investigated one new homicide in 2020, which is similar to its numbers from the past few years.
2020: 1
2019: 2
2018: 1
2017: 0
2016: 0
2015: 2

The Darlington County Sheriff’s Office has not yet provided homicide investigation data for 2020 or years prior to 2019.
2020: Awaiting response
2019: 12 (1 homicide by child abuse, 1 voluntary homicide)
2018: Awaiting response
2017: Awaiting response
2016: Awaiting response
2015: Awaiting response

The Darlington Police Department investigated its first homicide since 2017.
2020: 1
2019: 0
2018: 0
2017: 2 (same incident)
2016: 0
2015: 0

The Dillon County Sheriff’s Office has not yet provided homicide investigation data for 2020.
2020: Awaiting response
2019: 0
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 2
2015: 0
2014: 0

The Marlboro Co. Sheriff’s Office investigated three homicides in 2020, the same number as 2019. 
2020: 3
2019: 3
2018: 2
2017: 2
2016: 3
2015: 2

The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office investigated 23 new homicides in 2020, two more than in the previous year.
2020: 23
2019: 21 
2018: 26
2017: 18
2016: 23

The Lumberton Police Department investigated six new homicides in 2020, its highest total since 2016.
2020: 6
2019: 5
2018: 5
2017: 5
2016: 8
2015: 8
2014: 6

The Scotland Co Sheriff’s Office investigated three new homicides in 2020. The department tells us they all occurred in December.
2020: 3
2019: 1
2018: 4
2017: 2
2016: 3
2015: 2

The Laurinburg Police Department worked four homicides in 2020, its largest number since 2017.
2020: 4
2019: 3
2018: 1
2017: 4
2016: 3
2015: 3

Count on News13 for updates on crime trends in the News13 viewing area.

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