2015-06-12 / Front Page

Two charged in murder


Ledger Staff Writer


Cherokee County Sheriff's Office investigators knew they had a potential murder scene after they responded to a Blacksburg home Thursday evening, but didn't have any bodies.

A few hours later, York County authorities were responding to a crime scene of their own when a burning truck was found in the woods off Bonner Horton Road in Hickory Grove. There were two bodies inside the truck. 

See press release from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department.

A non-stop effort allowed authorities to connect the dots and Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller announced Friday evening that two local men had been taken into custody and charged with murder. 

Donald Edward Creswell Jr., 45, of 411 Jumping Branch Road, was first taken into custody Thursday evening on a drug possession charge after detectives found the crime scene at his home and was later hit with a murder charge. A several hours long manhunt then led to the arrest of Steven Eugene Parker, 33, of Hillcrest Street, Blacksburg, who was captured by detectives, SWAT team members and SLED agents at 2:25 p.m. Friday in a home on Norman Boulevard in Gaffney. 

The two victims of an apparent drug deal gone bad, described by Mueller as young men, have not yet been named by authorities. 

While Mueller said police believed they knew the identity of one man, and the York County Coroner's Office is still searching for the identity of the second, the release of the victims' names isn't expected until the York County coroner makes positive identification and notifies the victims' families. 

It's believed both victims are from North Carolina. 

The discovery of the crime scene, and the ability of investigators to connect the dots to the gruesome discovery in Hickory Grove, would likely not have been possible if a tip hadn't come in to the sheriff's office on Thursday.

Mueller said a tipster notified the sheriff's office at 7 p.m. Thursday that a possible shooting had taken place in Creswell's home and that Creswell was removing items from the home and trying to destroy evidence. 

When a detective arrived at Creswell's home at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Mueller said, Creswell was found outside the home burning carpeting from the home. The detective extinguished the fire to preserve evidence and called for assistance. 

Crime scene investigators, who worked at the scene throughout the night and most of Friday, "clearly saw a crime had been committed and that someone had been shot,"  Mueller said. 

The tipster had further relayed to authorities that the people shot in Creswell's home may have been dumped in the Broad River, Mueller said, touching off a multi-hour search of known access points along the river. Plans to search the river some more ended when the Hickory Grove crime scene was linked to Cherokee County. 

Mueller said investigators believe there were four people in Creswell's home at the time of the shooting — Creswell, Parker and the two victims.

But the investigation remains ongoing as to whether other people participated in the disposal and burning of the bodies in York County.

There was some information the victims may have been shot on June 9, but the truck fire wasn't discovered until late Thursday evening. Creswell already was in custody at the time the burning truck was found. 

More information will be posted online and in print as it becomes available. 


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