A task force comprised of federal, state and local law enforcement is on the hunt for the killer of Irene Pressley, a U.S. mail carrier who was found shot to death along the route she worked in rural South Carolina.
“Make no mistake, the perpetrators of this crime will face justice,” U.S. postal inspector David McGinnis said Friday during a news conference, CNN reports. “Nothing we do is more important.”
Pressley, who had worked for the postal service for 22 years, was found shot to death inside her vehicle Monday along her route in rural Andrews, S.C., about 100 miles east of Columbia, WPDE ABC 15 reports.
So far, authorities have no suspects or a motive, and they’re pleading for the public’s help.
Williamsburg County Sheriff Stephen Gardner said his deputies are working 12-hour shifts, but they need help.
“We can do a lot of technical things and we can do a lot of things right when it comes down to some things. But the one part that is integral that we need help and I plead to you is from our community,” the sheriff said. “You have to give us information to work with.”
Residents along the route Pressley served were shocked and frightened by her violent—and, thus far, unsolved death.
“That’s what doesn’t make any sense. Who would do this type of thing?” Barbara Calhoun told WCIV ABC News 4. “To know you have dangerous people that’s in this area, that’s what’s scary, I can’t imagine why.”
Calhoun and other neighbors tied white ribbons to their mailboxes in tribute to Pressley, whose funeral is scheduled for Saturday.
Jody Bouchette, another resident on Pressley’s route, lives near where Pressley was found shot to death, and told reporters he witnessed authorities removing the vehicle, according to CNN.
“It just broke my heart. For the whole back glass to be shot out and bullet holes in the front of it and all that,” he said. “I broke down and cried.”
Bouchette said he’d known Pressley for 33 years, and like Calhoun, says her death has the whole community frightened.
“My wife actually rode to school with me this morning to take my little boy, which she never does, and I said, ‘Why today?’” Bouchette told WCIV. “And she said, ‘I’m terrified we have a murderer on the loose’. I told my wife, it’s going to be a while until we bounce back from this one, this was a good woman, a good church-going woman, a good family woman.”