This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.
Elizabeth Crawford was an ambitious, free-spirited, outgoing woman.
“My mother did not know a stranger. She was an outgoing person and loved people,” her son David Crawford said.
Dot Humphrey said her sister Libby, as she was known, loved art, working, and ballroom dancing.
“Libby was a stronger woman. She did not let anyone walk on her,” Dot recalled. “She spoke her mind more than I ever could.”
It’s been far too long since anyone heard Libby speak her mind.
Libby Crawford went missing from the small town of Simpsonville, South Carolina, in 1986. She had just left her house en route to a friend’s home.
She was 34 years old.
Dot recalled the days when she and her sister would talk all the time because they were close and told each other everything. Libby also kept a diary and wrote all of her thoughts in it – even some things she never told Dot.
Libby had two sons, Frankie and David. David lived with his grandmother at the time of her disappearance, and Frankie lived with Libby.
“Frankie was the golden child and I was the troubled child,” David said. When she went missing, David had just turned 14, and Frankie was 17.
On July 16, 1986, Libby was living in the Cherrywood Mobile Home Park in Simpsonville, South Carolina. She received a phone call and told her son she was going to visit a friend.
She never arrived.
“Thursday, the day she went missing, I was working,” said Dot. “The first time I called, her son, Frankie answered that she was at the store.”
When she called the next day, Frankie said she actually hadn’t been home since Wednesday, and Dot knew something was wrong.
Her car, a 1978 Chevy Malibu, was found abandoned on July 19 at the Fountain Inn on Georgia Street. Dot said she found it odd that the car windows were down and the front seat was all the way back. That was odd because Libby was short and drove with it all the way forward. No fingerprints were found in the car, not even Libby’s. All that was found in her car were kitchen utensils.
Libby and her dance partner had been getting ready to perform on the show Dance Fever, according to David. Libby never got the chance to dance on the show.
After his mother disappeared, David moved to Myrtle Beach. He said that it was easier to not be reminded of his mother. “You can either be sad or persevere. I chose to persevere,” David said.
David said he remembers going through the milestones of his graduation, the birth of his first child, and his child’s graduation. He said those were some of the hardest times to be without his mother. He has had to accept what the relationship was with his mother and move on with the good memories he has of her.
“I gave her more trouble than the law could allow, but she still did everything she could because she loved me,” David said.
There have never been additional leads or suspects linked to Libby’s disappearance, although police do suspect foul play. Her family still hopes to get answers.
“Trust your gut instinct always, it is mostly never wrong,” David said.
In the meantime, the family remembers her as the loving, kind-hearted person she was, and they keep her as close to their hearts as she kept them.
If you have any information on the unsolved murder of Libby Crawford, please contact the Simpsonville Police Department at (864) 967-9536.
Research & Impact
The Project: Cold Case platform features two specific groups – unsolved homicides and missing persons with foul play suspected.
Missing persons cases require a bit more caution in advocacy, as there can often be added layers of complexity when the victim’s remains have yet to be identified or even located.
Whenever we receive new case submissions for missing persons cases, it’s vitally important that a direct family member submitted the case. We never want someone to see their loved one on our site if they believe that their loved one will walk back home one day.
Additionally, the investigating agency working the case must also classify the case as a missing person with foul play suspected in order to align with the Project: Cold Case platform.
While Project: Cold Case works to advocate and support as many families as possible, for some missing persons cases, we can only provide resources that may be better equipped to offer tailored services. NAMUS, the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, and The Doe Network are two wonderful resources for missing persons cases.
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If you have a loved one that is the victim of an unsolved homicide, please submit their case here for consideration in a future Cold Case Spotlight post.