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Case goes cold on anniversary of Beaufort bride's beating

More than a year later, the identity of a man suspected of breaking into a Beaufort hotel and beating a Beaufort native the night before her wedding remains a mystery.

Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy said his investigators have exhausted all leads in their attempts to arrest the man who attacked Rhyan Mazur-Williamson inside a cottage at the Beaufort Inn on April 18, 2009.

"The investigators don't have any new leads or developments to follow, and they've followed all of the leads they had before," Clancy said. "This case is one of those things that we will always be open to hearing new information. It's not like we're just going to forget about it. We want to solve it, and we're going to keep working towards that end."

Mazur-Williamson's husband, Michael Williamson, said he doubts police will ever identify or arrest his wife's attacker.

"I do not believe the police will ever find him unless he turns himself in," he said.

Scheduled to be married the next day at Sea Island Presbyterian Church on Lady's Island, the couple returned to their room from a Bay Street restaurant at about 2 a.m., the bridge-to-be told police. She said that upon entering the cottage, an unknown man jumped on her, covered her mouth and punched her repeatedly. She suffered multiple fractures to her nose and face and required corrective surgery.

The attack forced the couple to cancel their wedding and a reception at the Oaks Plantation. They were instead married in the backyard of the St. Helena Island home of the bride's parents after Mazur-Williamson was released from Beaufort Memorial Hospital.

Mazur-Williamson said she is glad the couple decided not to postpone their nuptials as they prepare to celebrate their one-year anniversary at their home in Charlotte.

"I think the healing process would have been unbearable if we had decided to postpone due to the actions (of) this monster," Mazur-Williamson said. "But in our healing, we have learned we have to forgive, no matter how hard it may be. It is the only way we can move on and live a prosperous life together."

GOT A TIP?

Anyone with information on the crime should call the Beaufort Police Department at 843-322-7900 or Sgt. Darrel Gruel at 843-322-7936.

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