Crime & Public Safety

Beaufort County woman missing since holidays found safe, Sheriff’s Office says

Melanie Lynn Tran
Melanie Lynn Tran

A northern Beaufort County woman who hadn’t spoken to her family since the holidays was found safe Thursday morning after being reported missing, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office release.

Melanie Lynn Tran, 43, of Burton, was reported missing and endangered Monday, a previous Island Packet article reported.

She reportedly told family members she would visit them but did not show up, the Sheriff’s Office news release said.

Her sister, Melissa Reddy, told the Packet Wednesday she hadn’t heard from Tran since the day after Christmas. Reddy said Tran is a mother of two with family in the area.

Tran was one of two people who went missing from the area in recent weeks.

Malik Spencer, 18, of Lobeco, has been missing since Dec. 18.

He was last seen by his mother before he left for school at Whale Branch High School. Days later, his car was discovered by the Sheriff’s Office in a rural residential area on St. Helena Island. On Dec. 27, the Sheriff’s Office said it suspects foul play in his disappearance.

Friends and family are offering a $2,000 reward for any information that results in finding Spencer.

Anyone with information about Spencer’s whereabouts can contact Investigator Brian Abell at 843-255-3436 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CrimeSC.

Lana Ferguson has covered crime, police, and other news for The Island Packet & Beaufort Gazette since June 2018. Before coming to the Lowcountry, she worked for publications in her home state of Virginia and graduated from the University of Mississippi, where she was editor of the college’s daily newspaper.