The Anderson police department in South Carolina recently reopened a 1997 cold case, the unsolved murder of Paula Thomason. Detectives posted their plea for information on Facebook, hoping that someone in the community will come forward with a tip.

“My partner and I are seeking any information that may help solve this case and bring closure to Paula’s remaining family members,” said Detective Joe Burke.

In 1997, the badly decomposed body of Paula Thomason was discovered on Old Belton Highway. She was 34 years old at the time of her death. Investigators suspect Paula was killed elsewhere, but dumped by her killer on a stretch of dirt road, less visible from the main highway.

Her wrapped body was dug out from under rubble near a construction site. Officials identified Paula by her fingerprints and her clothes. Her outfit matched the description from her missing person report.

paula anderson
Anderson Police Department

Cause of death was strangulation, according to the coroner’s report.

Paula Thomason was recently divorced with no children. She lived twenty miles away from where her body was discovered. Family and friends described her as caring, loving, and always willing to help others. Before her murder, Paula fostered a six-month-old baby but, according to reports, wasn’t able to adopt.

Before her murder, she had started a new job at a bib factory. She had worked at the factory only a day before she vanished.

Her case quickly went cold with no suspects and leads. The Anderson police hope someone knows something who’s willing to help them with the investigation. Detective Burke could be contacted directly at (864) 353-7871 or e-mail him at

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By Jolene Grace

Jolene Grace was a journalist for ten years, interning for CBS evening news, working as a beat report for Oklahoma Public radio, and eventually transitioning into managing digital content for a radio corporation. Currently, she writes crime fiction full time and blogs for the Crime Room. Jolene is fortunate enough to be able to tell the stories of those who no longer can. She’s passionate to write about cold cases being solved. You can read her blogs on or listen to The Crime Room Podcast wherever in the world you happened to be. Let’s Talk Crime.

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