New report: SC man linked to 5 unsolved Horry County sexual assault cases from early 2000s

Getty Images/iStockphoto
·4 min read

Horry County Police Department arrested 56-year-old Randy Earl Barnhill of Conway on June 9 as he is currently thought to be responsible for five unsolved sexual assault cases from the early 2000s, according to a release from the police department.

Police say that it is also possible that Barnhill could be responsible for multiple other cold cases.

The release states that Barnhill is being charged with multiple first degree criminal sexual conduct instances, kidnapping, assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, first and second degree burglary, and exposure of private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner.

In a release from the department in 2005, police say that there were similarities between some sexual assault cases in the area and that they thought the instances could be related.

“Some of the similarities involve cases in which the suspect assaults lone females as they depart their offices in the evening hours during darkness,” the 2005 release read. “The offender is described as; a white male, five feet, ten inches tall, weighing between 180 and 200 pounds, most likely in his late twenties to early thirties. He has dark hair, a medium build, and has been wearing ‘work style clothing.’”

Advances in technology over the years allowed HCPD to uncover new evidence which lead to the arrest of Barnhill in the 2006 sexual assault case. Further investigation revealed Barnhill’s involvement in four other sexually-based investigations, according to the release.

Police are asking for the public’s help in closing more cases

“It is the sincere hope of HCPD that this new development will bring the survivors of these incidents and the greater Horry County community some sense of peace,” read the release from the police department.

The police are asking the community for help. Anyone with information regarding these cases or other victims should contact HCPD or call the tip line 843-915-8477.

“I’m certainly very proud of the work and persistence by Horry County police officers in this matter,” said 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson in a news release. “It may have appeared to the victims that this series of crimes would have remained unsolved; however, Horry County continues to use modern-day advancements in technology to work for justice for crime victims.”

The specifics of his charges

A Jan. 31, 2000 arrest warrant states that Barnhill committed the offense of kidnapping when he “grab(bed) the victim in the parking lot, while going to her car; restraining her and confining her movement and ability to freely leave while sexually assaulting her.”

Another warrant says that Barnhill is being charged for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature from this same 2000 incident.

A Dec. 16, 2003 arrest warrant states that Barnhill again committed the offense of kidnapping when he “did approach the victim in the parking lot, blocking her driver door from closing; restraining her and confining her movement and ability to freely leave while sexually assaulting her.”

Another warrant says that Barnhill is being charged for assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature for this same 2003 incident.

A June 14, 2005 arrest warrant states that Barnhill again committed the offense of kidnapping when he “enter(ed) the victim’s residence while she was sleeping and committed sexual battery upon the victim; restraining her and confining her movement and ability to freely leave while sexually assaulting her.”

During this same 2005 incident, Barnhill was also said to have committed burglary as he did enter the victim’s home. The arrest warrant states that he “forcibly penetrated the victim both orally and vaginally” and that he did use “aggravated force while sexually battering the victim.”

An Oct. 18, 2005 arrest warrant states that Barnhill again committed the offense of kidnapping when he “did enter the victim(’s) residence and while standing in the hallway at the doorway to her bedroom, did masturbate. While standing in the hallway at her doorway, it did confine her movement and ability to freely leave while sexually gratifying himself.”

Barnhill was also said to have committed burglary and exposure of private parts in a lewd and lascivious manner in this 2005 incident as he did enter the victim’s home.

A Nov. 25, 2006 arrest warrant states that Barnhill again committed the offense of kidnapping when he “did grab the victim while she was taking out the trash, forcing her to go back inside the business, restraining her and confining her movement and ability to freely leave while sexually assaulting her.”

He is also being charged with criminal sexual conduct for his actions in this incident.

During the Nov. 25, 2006 kidnapping, an arrest warrant said that Barnhill also committed violent, second degree burglary when he entered the building and sexually assaulted the victim. The warrant said he was “grabbing her and physically restraining her before vaginally penetrating her” and that Barnhill also “did use aggravated force while sexually battering the victim.”

Reporter Megan Wallace contributed to this report.