Beaufort News

Vigil honors missing couple as families wait for answers

Marker locates Purrysburg Road in Jasper County.
Marker locates Purrysburg Road in Jasper County. Google Earth
Candles flickered as friends and family of a missing couple gathered Friday night in Ridgeland to remember their loved ones.

Shantay Jenkins, 27, and Bruce Specks, 33, were last seen Oct. 2.

The next day, two bodies were found inside a burned car recovered on Purrysburg Road in Hardeeville.

The bodies were taken into the custody of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for DNA testing to determine the identifications of the victims, according to Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls.

When asked Friday by The Island Packet and Beaufort Gazette when the test results are expected, Sauls said "soon" and could not provide a timeline.

Chief Deputy Roy Hughes of the Jasper County Sheriff's Office said the incident is being investigated as a homicide and is ongoing.

For Specks' mother Cynthia Howard and Jenkins' mother Patricia Jenkins, answers can't come soon enough, because they believe the bodies belong to their children.

"Our kids were wonderful kids," Howard said Friday. "We haven't even touched our kids. That's all I want right now. Give me what is left of him."

Participants of the candlelight vigil to honor the young couple offered prayers and support.

"My daughter is good," Jenkins said of Shantay. "She loved her son."

Shantay Jenkins has a 6-year-old son. Specks is the father of three, ages 16, 12 and 11, Howard said.

"Mostly, he is waiting for closure," Patricia Jenkins said of her grandson. "He's hanging in there and wants his mom back."

Howard said she believes she knows who is responsible for her son's and Jenkins' deaths and awaits justice.

Surrounded by family and friends, Howard said she is grateful for the support while she waits.

"I appreciate what they are doing here, I really do," Howard said. "I don't have the strength to do what they are doing for me here."

Follow Caitlin Turner on Twitter at twitter.com/Cait_E_Turner.

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