Historic marker stolen in Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Historic marker stolen in Greenville

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Deputies say the Willie Earle historic marker located at Hwy 124 and Old Bramlett Road is gone. (Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office) Deputies say the Willie Earle historic marker located at Hwy 124 and Old Bramlett Road is gone. (Greenville Co. Sheriff's Office)
All that's left of the historic Willie Earle marker. (April 24, 2012/FOX Carolina) All that's left of the historic Willie Earle marker. (April 24, 2012/FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Deputies said someone stole a historic marker that honors the last African American man to be lynched in South Carolina.

Two markers were made to honor Willie Earle, who was lynched in the streets of Greenville 64 years ago. They were placed in February 2011 to honor Earle's death, but deputies said the one located at Highway 124 and Old Bramlett Road is gone.

Investigators said the marker has not been seen for at least two weeks and they need the public's help finding who took the marker.

"We're really interested in the time frame when it was stolen," said Master Deputy Jennings Autrey with the Greenville County Sheriff's Office. "And that's why we need the public's assistance on this. And again, we're searching down some leads, checking the scrap yards, checking in with the scrap yards."

Willie Earle was arrested on Feb. 16, 1947, accused in the death of Pickens County cab driver Thomas Brown. Before he could be tried in connection with the assault, Earle was beaten and shot to death by an angry mob.

A group of 31 men were arrested and tried in connection with the lynching, but all of them were acquitted.

Autrey said the cost to replace a historic marker is about $1,500.

If you have any information on where the marker is or who stole it, you're asked to call Crime Stoppers at 23-CRIME.

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