Horry County, SC – Police are searching for a 22-year-old man suspected in the murder of a much-beloved, retired Conway police officer.
Officers responded to a home on Long Branch Road at about 6 p.m. on March 5 after 911 received a call from a woman who said her son “did something,” Myrtle Beach Online reported.
A police officer said over the radio during the incident that the son – later identified as 22-year-old Eric Kwajae-Mikhail Faulk of Conway – had also told a cousin that he “did something wrong.”
County officials said that responding officers found 65-year-old retired Conway Police Lieutenant James “Odell” Cochran dead at the residence, Myrtle Beach Online reported.
Police are searching for Faulk in connection with Lt. Cochran’s murder.
Officials were initially looking for a stolen a 2004 Chevrolet K1500 Silverado in connection to the murder, but the vehicle was later found.
Police said Faulk should be considered “armed and dangerous” and warned anyone who sees him to call 911 and not try to approach him.
Lt. Cochran worked for the Conway Police Department for almost 40 years and was a “giant” in the community, according to the Conway Police Chief Dale Long, WBTW reported.
“We’re often times the ones who are in charge of delivering such bad news, and we understand,” Chief Long explained. “That’s probably one of the hardest things we do is delivering a death message to someone, so when it comes to us, it is equally as devastating, it stops you in your tracks, and it just makes you pause and not know really what to say.”
He said the police department and the entire community were mourning the loss of Lt. Cochran, WBTW reported.
“His integrity was impeccable, his characteristics about what he did was just beyond reproach, and just the kind of person I wish we had more of,” Chief Long said.
Reat Gore, Lt. Cochran’s sister, said her brother did a lot of work with troubled youth in the community, and she believed that was what ultimately got him killed, WBTW reported.
“When these kids were in trouble, they knew they could talk to him. They’d say, ‘Mr. Odell,’ and once he talked to them, he tried to give them a chance to have a better life than the street life,” Gore said. “But the street life is what took him away from here.”