image-Sheriff-Vows-To-Find-Who-Killed-Clemson-Student-20-Years-Ago
Stacey Brooke Holsonback

ANDERSON — Investigators will find the killer of an 18-year-old Clemson student found floating in Lake Hartwell 20 years ago, the Oconee County sheriff said.

Sheriff Mike Crenshaw was a lieutenant in the sheriff's office on Feb. 20, 1997, when authorities found Brooke Holsonback's body. He worked 24-hour days and can remember nearly every detail of the case.

An autopsy determined the freshman bio-chemistry major was strangled, Crenshaw said

"When you're personally involved in these cases, they tend to wear on you. It stays on your mind. It's been on our minds for 20 years. We want to give closure to her mother, her father, her family," Crenshaw told the Anderson Independent-Mail.

Some of those details Crenshaw won't talk about so he won't mess up the investigation. But what is known is Holsonback spent the day before her body was found riding in mud holes with two other Clemson students in a truck, authorities said.

When the truck got stuck and the men started arguing, Holsonback walked away. The next time she was seen was when her body was found in the lake, investigators said.

Twenty years of waiting have taken their toll on Holsonback's family. Her father said he thinks about her every day.

"Right now it's kind of a cold case. There isn't a whole lot going on," Warren Holsonback said. "Twenty years is a long time."

Crenshaw said his investigators are still working hard behind the scene, pursuing new angles and reviewing evidence. He would not go into specifics.

"We still think there's information out there that could help us in solving this case. We believe this case is one of our unsolved cases, but we feel like we have a sense of direction of where to go and who to look for," Crenshaw said. "So we're going to keep pressing on and moving forward until we have someone in jail who's responsible for her death."