LAURENS COUNTY, SC Most of his life, in some way, Sgt. James Kimbrell has served others.
"I started with the highway patrol back on August 13 1967," Kimbrell said.
He worked in a specialized unit, retired, and then put the badge on again as
Sergeant with the Criminal Investigations Unit with the Laurens County
Sheriff's Office under Sheriff Don Reynolds.
"When we first took office back in January 3 of 2017. SLED was still doing
their initial inventory. They thought it would take just several weeks," Kimbrell
He now has the keys to the old jail where at one time, piles of evidence and
items related to cases, which dated back to the 90s filled several rooms.
"Body armor was piled up, old computers and laptops and monitors, slot
machines," Kimbrell said.
He's gone through a lot of it, but one box with a case number caught his eyes.
"It hadn't been returned to SLED so I opened it up and looked inside and saw
there were jewelry items in there," Kimbrell said."Someone had noted back in
December of 1995 a notation that these people had come by the sheriff's
department, but the items had been lost."
He did some more digging and found a report, a name, and a number.
"One thing I noticed in the box was a class ring," Kimbrell said.
He called the owners and told them about the box.
"They had a burglary at their residence where there was - firearms were
stolen and also quite a few items of jewelry," Kimbrell said."Me and my
lieutenant went out after hours and personally delivered it to these
Now, as the sergeant continues to find items he tracks and assigns serial
numbers and returns them to owners if he can.
"Makes me a feel real good that I'm able to give things back to the citizens of
Laurens County," Kimbrell said.