South Carolina police investigate death of Kentucky woman

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (KT) -- Authorities in South Carolina are investigating the death of a Frankfort woman, whose burned body was found last month in Chester, SC.

Chester County Sheriff D. Max Dorsey, II, says they are requesting the help of the public in their investigation of the discovery of the body of Melissa I. Whitis, 31, of Frankfort, on September 20, which they believe is a homicide.

According to a news release that appears on the Facebook page of the Chester County Sheriff’s Office, it is believed Whitis was in the vicinity of I-40 in Davie County, North Carolina on September 17, and may have been wearing yellow pants, a gray coat, a knee brace, and had her hair pulled up or under a knit cap.

While Whitis’ last known address was an apartment in Franfort, family members say she also had ties to Somerset and Lexington and was married with two children.

Her family told WKYT-TV she had been known to travel from state to state. "She called from different areas...she left a message saying she was in Virginia. Pennsylvania," said Kathryn Farris, Melissa Whitis's stepmother.

The Farris' say they had seen Melissa about a month ago. But they say nothing could prepare them for the phone call they got informing them of her death.

The sheriff’s department has have not released the names of any suspects or persons of interest in the case.

The exact cause of death has not been released.

Anyone with information on Whitis, or who may have seen her since September 17, is being asked to call the Chester County Sheriff’s office at (803) 581-5131.

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