What first appeared to be an apartment fire quickly turned into a murder investigation. The blaze happened Tuesday at The Bethel Bishop Apartments near West Beltline Boulevard. When firefighters entered the burning unit they found a body; which turned out to be 22-year-old Ebony Williams. Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says the fire didn't kill Williams, she was strangled. Police say whoever killed her tried to cover their tracks by burning down the comple Captain Thomas Dodson says, "Since I've been with the department, I've not personally experienced a crime like this."
A hanous murder that Ebony Williams' parents can't understand. The couple is devastated about losing their daughter. They talked to WACH FOX News in an exclusive interview.
Williams' mother Maria Magwood says, "she was my only child. We were very close."
Magwood says a neighbor at Bethel Bishop Apartments called her Tuesday afternoon saying her daughters apartment caught on fire. When she got there, Magwood says what she saw was shocking.
"I saw all the tape and the body. I just broke down and cried."
Later police told the family Ebony was strangled then set on fire. That's something the family just can't understand.
"She was outspoken. She loved life. She was the sweetest girl you ever met," says Magwood.
The 22-year-old had a nursing certificate. Magwood says her daughter's life was cut short; while she was trying to save others.
For the heartbroken parents faith is the only thing helping them through this nightmare. They're asking people to pray for them.
Making matters worse Ebony Williams did not have insurance and the family doesn't have money to pay for her burial. So the community is raising money to help them. Sam's grocery store at 2341 Pendleton Street has a fund set up.