CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – Friends, family and former co-workers gathered to honor the life of retired Lt. James Odell Cochran of the Conway Police Department Monday afternoon.
Horry County police say he was murdered Thursday evening.
A cross with blue ribbons sits outside the Conway Police Department to honor him and his 38 years of service. Conway Police Chief Dale Long says his department has been mourning ever since it received the news.
“We’re often times the ones who are in charge of delivering such bad news, and we understand. That’s probably one of the hardest things we do is delivering a death message to someone, so when it comes to us, it is equally as devastating, it stops you in your tracks, and it just makes you pause and not know really what to say.”
Chief Long describes Lt. Cochran as a giant in the law enforcement community.
“His integrity was impeccable, his characteristics about what he did was just beyond reproach, and just the kind of person I wish we had more of,” Chief Long said.
Lt. Cochran’s sister, Reat Gore says her brother took those values into the community.
“When these kids were in trouble, they knew they could talk to him. They’d say, ‘Mr. Odell,’ and once he talked to them, he tried to give them a chance to have a better life than the street life, but the street life is what took him away from here,” Gore said.
Horry County police search for 22-year-old Eric Faulk, who is wanted for murder in connection with the incident. Police found the suspect’s car on Friday, however they say there is still no sign of Faulk.
Hundreds of officers visited Lt. Cochran’s family at his viewing on Monday, all wearing mourning bands on their badges. Both police and the family say they want justice.
“It’s so difficult to try to separate the professional from the personal because we’ve been that, we’ve been to these families and we’re like, ‘We’re doing what we can to bring this person in,’ and now that we’re asking and waiting for someone to tell us he’s caught, it’s kind of humbling that we’re waiting on our partners out there. We’re getting some updates, and they’re telling us what’s going on, and there’s a massive effort,” Chief Long said.
“They don’t have (the suspect), but they’re going to get (the suspect); they will get him. I’m praying, and I’m not praying in a bad way, and I’m not mad, but I just want justice for my brother, because he deserved that and some more,” Gore said.
Lt. Cochran’s funeral will be held Tuesday, March 10 at 1p.m. at the Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Conway.