Newberry mother in search of answers 3 years after her daughter’s unsolved murder

Watch WIS News 10 at 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Published: Sep. 17, 2022 at 5:41 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

NEWBERRY, S.C. (WIS) - Exactly three years ago, investigators say 40-year-old Sharonda Sims was ambushed, shot, and killed while walking home in Newberry.

Her murder remains unsolved, and her family is speaking out as they search for answers and closure.

Sims’ body was found in a ditch in the Helena section of the city, near the intersection of Drayton Street and Cherry Lane.

RELATED STORY: Coroner: Shooting death of 40-year-old Newberry woman ruled homicide

Sharonda’s mother Martha Sims said there is no combination of words to describe the pain that she and her family have felt over the past three years, but she has not given up hope that her daughter’s killer will be caught.

Martha Sims is praying that someone comes forward with information about what happened that night.

“I do believe it was someone in the community that murdered my child,” she said. “And I’m asking anybody, if you know anything, even the smallest little thing could lead to something. If you know something, please for the love of God say something.”

Sharonda’s family said the pain has been overwhelming.

RELATED STORY: Family of Newberry woman shot and found in ditch desperate for answers on her birthday

“Three years later is the same as it was three years before, we still feel the same pain,” Martha Sims said.

Sharonda, or Ronda as she was affectionately called, was a loving daughter, mother, and friend, Martha Sims said.

She had a grandchild born just a week after she was murdered.

Investigators with the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office say the shooting happened around 3 a.m. on the morning of September 17, 2019.

Security cameras caught a portion of the shooting, but the camera is so far away and it is so dark that the flash from the gun is that’s visible.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said they have identified some persons of interest, but need more details before they can charge anyone.

“It’s dark, people weren’t out, so we really don’t have anybody that actually witnessed the shooting, but we believe there are people that know what happened,” Foster said.

During this period, Foster said Newberry County had experienced several drive-by shootings and other reports of shots fired.

The sheriff’s office believes that Sharonda’s murder is in some way connected to those incidents. Persons of interest in those crimes are also considered persons of interest in this case.

Martha Sims said justice would mean that she wouldn’t have to live in fear anymore, fear that something could happen to her or her family, or fear that whoever did this could do it to someone else too.

For about six months after Sharonda’s death, Martha Sims said she was not comfortable staying home by herself.

“I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since because I wake up the exact time my child was murdered,” she said. “I wake up the exact time the coroner and the investigator came here that morning. And this is often.”

Martha Sims said that Sharonda would often lose her house key, and at the time of her murder, she had lost it. That image sits with her to this day.

“She would always call me and say, ‘Ma, open the door,’ and I would get up to open the door for her,” she said. “And every night nearly since she’s been gone, I’ll get ready to go to bed at night and I’ll say, no I’m just going to go and stay up because Sharonda should be here in a little bit. And it’s like so many nights I’m sitting up waiting on her to say, ‘Ma, open the door.’ And I can’t.”

Foster said the Newberry Sheriff’s Office is actively investigating this case.

“It’s not a day that goes by that we don’t do something with this case,” he said. “Whether we’re looking at forensics, whether we’re looking at people that we’ve arrested for similar acts, whether it’s something that’s happened in another county that we think might be connected to ours. So we’re looking at this all the time. It’s not sitting in a folder on a shelf.”

Foster said it remains a top priority, both to help the Sims family and bring whoever did this to justice.

Anyone with information about Sims’ murder is urged to contact the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office at (803) 321-2211 or report anonymously to Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Notice a spelling or grammar error in this article? Click or tap here to report it. Please include the article’s headline.