Richland County Sheriff’s Department


Sheriff Announces Arrest in 30 Year Unsolved Murder

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott Announces Major Break in Nearly 30 Year old Unsolved Homicide: Suspect Identified Thanks to the Diligence of the Cold Case Unit And Forensics Lab

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said that on May 10, 1987, the body of 34 year old Patricia Ann Green was discovered in a drainage ditch off of Highway 378 (Sumter Highway), just a few hundred feet from the main entrance of McIntire Air Base.   Ms. Green had been shot in the upper body and then carelessly left in a culvert.  Investigators at the time meticulously processed the crime scene and collected several items of potential evidence.

In 1987evidence from the crime scene  was submitted to the FBI for forensic evaluation (as part of the routine investigation by the Richland County Sheriff’s Department), however no suspects or leads were developed and  subsequently Ms. Green’s case was assigned to the Sheriff’s Department’s Cold Case unit for continuous investigation.

Several weeks ago investigators with the Cold Case Unit submitted articles of Ms. Green’s clothing to the Richland County Sheriff’s Departments Forensic Laboratory and a DNA match was made.

According to Sheriff Leon Lott, “The DNA match has identified 53 year old Phillip Johnson of Sumter as Ms. Green’s Killer. Additionally, during an interview with investigators from the Cold Case Unit, Johnson confessed to the murder of Ms. Patricia Ann Green, providing in depth detail of his crime.”

Johnson is currently serving several life sentences in the South Carolina Department of Corrections for four murders and other offenses that occurred in Sumter County and the City of Sumter in and around the same time frame that he murdered Ms. Green.

“This case is a testament to victims’ families that we will never forget about their family members and loved ones, they are not just a number to us or and old case file, our Cold Case investigators will always review these cases no matter how iced cold and our forensic scientists will always employ the very latest technology to provide our families with the answers that they deserve.  The Green family has waited nearly 30 years for answers and today they have those answers,” said the Sheriff.


March 08, 2017

5623 Two Notch Road 
Columbia, South Carolina 29223 
(803) 576-3000 phone (803) 576-3195 fax

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