Sheriff: Triple homicide not related to other crimes

SPARTANBURG CO., SC (WSPA) – A Spartanburg County crime described as “horrific, heinous, and violent” has neighbors near the crime scene on edge.

59-year-old Francis Richards, Fred “Junior” Richards, and 23-year-old Nathan Poffenberger were found dead Saturday at the Richards’ home on Landrum Mill Road in the Campobello area.

Investigators haven’t said how the victims were killed, there’s no known motive, and no suspects are known. It is also still unknown if the three victims were targeted or if this was a random act of violence.

Several neighbors told 7 News on Wednesday it is those exact unknowns that have had them on edge since early Saturday morning when they awoke to the news that three of their neighbors had been brutally killed.

A neighbor who lives just off Landrum Mill Road, less than a mile from the crime scene, says “I think everybody feels the families pain but it also doesn’t make any of the neighbors feel very secure thinking ‘are we going to be next?'”

The neighbor who did not want to be identified learned of the triple homicide when her friend called on Saturday concerned about her.

She recalls, “she said I wanted to make sure you were OK. I was just shocked.”

Shocked, she says, by the way investigators described the scene as “brutal” and “horrific.” Concerned, she says, because neighbors were told very little else.

“We don’t know whether it was a random home invasion, what the circumstances are, so I think everyone is really on edge. I have friends that have small children that live on Landrum Mill Road. They’re afraid to almost open their doors.”

When she opens her doors, she says the unanswered questions from the crime scene down the road have left her carrying added protection.

“I do have a firearm that now if I come to the barn at night I feel like I need to come out armed. It’s a very unsettling feeling. I think to assuage some of our fears it would be nice to be updated on a regular basis.”

Spartanburg Count Sheriff Chuck Wright told 7 News on Wednesday, “It’s not that we don’t want to tell them. We just don’t want to tell them something and be wrong. I don’t want to get people excited.”

Sheriff Wright did say it does not appear that the crime committed on Saturday is tied to any other crime in the area.

A viewer who lives a little more than a mile from the crime scene contacted 7 News after she drove by and saw the crime scene tape was partially down. 7 News asked Sheriff Wright and he says his investigators are done processing evidence and it has been cleared. He also assured the public his deputies and investigators continue to follow all leads that come into the department and they are working several “theories” currently.

If you know or saw anything you’re asked to call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC. The call is anonymous.