S.C. Trucker Allegedly Killed Prostitutes Across South

Authorities said, the trucker picked up prostitutes around the Southeast, killed them and dumped their bodies near interstate highways. He's accused of at least three slayings and is suspected in a fourth.

Boyer is serving a sentence of up to 12 years in a North Carolina prison after pleading guilty in 2007 to second-degree murder for killing Scarlett Wood in Wilmington four years earlier. Boyer said he was doing drugs with the 31-year-old prostitute when they had an argument, he pushed her, and she struck her head on furniture, authorities said. But an autopsy found Wood suffered broken ribs and facial bones, and her pelvic bones showed signs of a stabbing.

Boyer had been interviewed when Wood was still considered a missing person case because the two had been seen together at a party the night she disappeared. Authorities said detectives later got incriminating statements from Boyer when the case became a homicide investigation.

Boyer's attorney in the North Carolina case said he felt uneasy around his client.

"It wouldn't surprise me if there's other stuff out there," said H. Lawrence Shotwell. "I have absolutely nothing other than a gut instinct on that."

Boyer is a prime suspect in the death of 26-year-old Rose Marie Mallette, who was reported missing in 2001, said New Hanover County Sheriff's Det. Ken Murphy, a cold case investigator in Wilmington. The reported prostitute's remains were found wrapped in a blanket in an industrial area of the city a year later, the back of her skull crushed.

Boyer also seemed to target women who were especially small. For instance, Haggadone's family said she likely weighed less than 100 pounds when she was killed, while Boyer was 5-foot-7 and 293 pounds when he entered the North Carolina prison system in 2007.

Locklair said Boyer could be responsible for several more deaths because of his transient life as a trucker and his short temper when women disagree with him, a suspicion shared by a woman who searches for missing people.

Monica Caison, founder of Community United Effort Center for Missing Persons in Wilmington, said investigators need to look at three cases where women disappeared over five months in 1995 in Brunswick County, N.C., just west of Wilmington.

"We have a lot of unsolved missing persons in the general area where Mr. Boyer was known to frequent, live, and be. So, to me that alone warrants a second look," Caison said.

At least two of the unsolved cases involve woman who were small and slightly built, like Boyer's other alleged victims.

Cold case investigators in the area are aware of Caison's concerns and are checking their files for any links to Boyer.

Haggadone's family came back to South Carolina last week as authorities announced her identification and Boyer's confession. Her sister, Tuesday Miller, said she felt a cold presence when she went to the lonely parking area where she died.

"I am very overwhelmed. There are other people going through this same exact thing by this same exact guy," Miller said. "That's just sick. He's just evil."


Dalesio reported from Raleigh, N.C.

Jeffrey Collins can be reached at: http://twitter.com/JSCollinsAP

Emery Dalesio can be reached at: http://twitter.com/emerydalesio

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