Sanaa Amenhotep’s body was found Thursday in a wooded area of Lexington County, South Carolina three weeks after she went missing.
Sanaa was last seen on April 5 leaving her north Columbia home with three “acquaintances”— a young woman and two young men. However, when she failed to return home that night, the 15-year-old’s mother reported her missing.
On April 29, a body was discovered in Lexington County in a wooded area off of Interstate 20 near Batesburg-Leesville (which is roughly 40 minutes away from Columbia). According to the Lexington County Coroner’s office, who confirmed that the body belonged to Sanaa, the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds. Coroner Margaret Fisher also surmised that Sanaa was killed on the same day as her disappearance.
Police arrested one of the young men who had been seen with Sanaa on her last day alive and charged him with kidnapping (as a juvenile). Officers are also looking for Treveon Nelson, an 18-year-old that they believe is involved in Sanaa’s kidnapping.
Sanaa’s mother, Saleemah Graham-Fleming spoke out against her daughter’s murderers.
“You know deep inside you didn’t have to kill my daughter,” she said. “I really pray you are brought to justice.” However, some relief for the family was brought on by the discovery of Sanaa.
“There’s some closure knowing she was found,” Sanaa’s godfather, Keith Pereira, said. “It wasn’t what we wanted, but at least we know where she is and don’t have to search for her anymore.”
Nelson currently has a warrant out for his arrest.
“Don’t stop looking for him,” Graham-Fleming said. “Community — if you really want to be there for our family, if it really hits you like you say it does — bring him to justice.”
Authorities have yet to release further information on the case, including the possible motive behind the murder, but the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department is thoroughly investigating the case.
If you or anyone you now might have seen Nelson, you are encouraged to contact the police located in West Columbia, Cayce, Richland County and in Lexington County. You can also contact Crime Stoppers and offer an anonymous tip via their phone service (888-274-6372) and/or their website.