Release from Captain Greg Reed
Criminal Investigations Division
On February 20, 1997, a female body was discovered floating in Lake Hartwell by a construction worker. The worker contacted the authorities and the body was eventually identified as that of 18 year old Stacy Brooke Holsonback. An autopsy was conducted and it revealed that she had been strangled and was ruled a homicide.
Stacy Brooke Holsonback was a freshman bio-chemistry major at Clemson University from Prosperity, South Carolina and had planned to go into the medical field, concentrating on research for cancer treatments. She lived on the Clemson campus at Johnstone Hall and worked part-time at the School of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. She was a member of the Gamma Sigma Sigma sorority.
Stacy had been last seen on February 19, 1997, when she went “mud-bogging” with two male Clemson University students near Seneca, South Carolina. While the group had been “mud-bogging”, the vehicle became stuck. She left the scene alone on foot and was not seen again until her body was found floating in Lake Hartwell on the next afternoon by the construction worker. The location where her body was found was approximately one mile from the Clemson campus and over two miles from the site where she was last seen alive.
For the past twenty years, the investigation has not been; nor will it ever be dormant. Investigators from Oconee County, Clemson University Police Department and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division have been following the leads and conducting interviews regarding the investigation. Numerous items of forensic significance had been re-submitted to the SLED Forensic Laboratory for re-testing; utilizing the advances in forensic technology that was not available to law enforcement in 1997.
A task force has been assembled that is dedicated to the identification and apprehension of the persons responsible for Stacy’s death. The task force consists of the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office, Clemson PD, SLED and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The task force is consulting with criminal profilers from SLED and the FBI who are experts in the field of violent crime. A profile of the offenders is being prepared and will be utilized by the task force in identification and arrest of the responsible individuals.
Any individuals that wish to provide information do not have to give their names. They may be assured that any information provided will be followed up on by members of the task force. Contact the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office at 864-638-4111, Crime Stoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC or 864-638-STOP.