Family finds the remains of their missing grandma

HOLLY HILL, SC – Human remains found near a South Carolina residence have been linked to a 49-year-old grandmother, Melissa Aguilar, who was reported missing approximately five months ago. The gruesome discovery revealed a jawbone belonging to the missing woman.

Aguilar was reported missing on August 18 after an argument with a former partner prompted her to leave her Holly Hill residence. Just last week, Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office investigators informed Aguilar’s sister, Sarah Shipman, that remains were discovered less than half a mile from Aguilar’s home.

Shipman was accompanied at the scene by Aguilar’s daughters – Brittany Ranew and Shanna Brown. They visited the area where the remains were initially located, leading to another horrific discovery. As she comforted her grieving nieces, Shipman looked down to find her sister’s jawbone lying between her feet.

Investigation of the area led to the discovery of additional remains, including dental work and about 20 other fragments of Aguilar, seemingly overlooked by law enforcement officials. The recovered remains have been delivered to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division for processing and identification.

Frustration has grown in the family over what they claim to be negligence on the part of the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office. They allege a mishandled investigation and insist that external resources should be brought in due to the perceived incompetency of the sheriff’s office.

Meanwhile, the family expressed gratitude to Deputy Coroner Valencia Golden and the coroner’s office for their help. Marshall Samuetta, the coroner, reported that the bones were dispersed across roughly 30 feet of just off Fourwind Road. She revealed that approximately 90% of the skeletal remains had been collected with the assistance of a forensic anthropologist.

As the Aguilar family anxiously await the identification process, they are left grappling with unresolved questions and the immense pain of losing a mother.