Beaufort News

Volunteer investigators produce no new leads on missing Calverts

    A group of retired law-enforcement officers has spent hundreds of hours poring over the case, but no new leads have developed to explain the disappearance of John and Elizabeth Calvert more than three years ago, Beaufort County investigators say.

The Sheriff's Office Cold Case Review Team -- local volunteers who have full access to cold-case files -- has been working on the Calvert case and eight other unsolved homicides in the county. The 10-member team has met 20 times since Sheriff P.J. Tanner first provided it with information in January 2010 about the Calverts.

The Hilton Head Island couple vanished March 3, 2008. Their missing-person case remains open, though they've officially been declared dead.

"We've discussed the Calvert case numerous times," said Capt. Bob Bromage, who helps oversee the team. "Over the past year, collectively, team members have spent hundreds of man hours examining the case. They're looking for anything that will help us further the evidence. We've had some great, and heated, discussions."

Bromage said one team member, a retired Internal Revenue Service investigator, spent months examining financial records for information others might have missed.

But the paper trail hasn't led investigators anywhere they haven't already looked, Bromage said.

"They hope that they can bring something that will break a case, but it's not always that easy," he said.

No arrests have been made in any of the cold cases, but the team continues to meet every month and in smaller three- and four-person groups at members' homes to review facts, statements and pictures. The only costs associated with the team are for providing copies of case files, Bromage said.

The team's work is not limited to cold cases.

Members reviewed the case against Jerry Lamont Scantling before he was charged June 10 in the shooting death of Hilton Head Island resident Leonard Green, Tanner said. The body of the 42-year-old man was found May 23, 2010, near the C.C. Haigh Jr. boat landing on Pinckney Island.

"In the Green case, they were satisfied that we did everything we could and had done a thorough investigation," Bromage said.

The team also has examined the unsolved homicide of Eleanor McLeod, an 84-year-old resident of Sandalwood Terrace apartments on Hilton Head, who was strangled to death and found by a caretaker Jan. 17, 2010, according to reports.

The Sheriff's Office will not release details about the McLeod case, citing the ongoing investigation.

Other unsolved homicides and missing-person cases the team has reviewed include:

  • Jennifer Olson, a 19-year-old Georgia resident who was killed July 30, 1989, on the beach near the Westin Resort on Hilton Head while vacationing with her family.
  • The body of a still-unidentified woman discovered May 24, 1995, on Cottonhall Road near Yemassee.
  • Elshawndra "Shawn" Jones and Toby Bing, who were suspected of being murdered at a mobile home on 40 Hyon Road in Bluffton on Feb. 18, 1999. Kenneth A. Campbell and Sean T. Sullivan were convicted in 2001 for their involvement in a drug conspiracy that led to the suspected murders, but the victims' bodies have never been found.
  • Sean Sandlin and Robert Walsh, who were shot dead Feb. 22, 2002, in a Bluffton warehouse.
  • Yu-Cheung "Tommy" Tam, who was shot dead Oct. 21, 2003, while he slept in a mobile home he owned in Burton that served as a boarding house. Tam was killed by at least two men who entered the Roseida Road home at 4:30 a.m. The men also assaulted and robbed some of home's 10 occupants, according to sheriff's deputies.
  • Phillip Moultrie of Poppy Hill Road, who was 28 when he was shot dead Aug. 31, 2006, outside an abandoned mobile home on Bruce K. Smalls Drive in the Grays Hill community.
  • Follow reporter Cassie Foss at

    Cold case team offers 'a fresh set of eyes': Retired investigators helping Sheriff's Office with unsolved crimes, Sept. 19, 2010

    Volunteer investigative team reviews the disappearance of John and Elizabeth Calvert, March 6, 2010

    Police delve into unsolved murders, Jan. 13, 2004