On Aug. 4 1996, a fire at Macedonia High School tore through the halls, gutted classrooms and broke the heart of a community. On Wednesday, the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office announced that an arrest has been made in the 23 year old cold case.
Sheriff Duane Lewis said at the press conference, 40 year old, Daniel Scott Harris of Macedonia was arrested on 2nd degree arson and 2nd degree burglary. The sheriff said Harris was 17 at the time and a junior at the high school.
“This school represented a community it is where everything happened,” said Sheriff Lewis.
Lewis said it was new found evidence and a fingerprint in a unique area that eventually led to the arrest of Harris, after reopening the case two years ago, but the investigation will continue.
“We believe based on the evidence at the scene there are additional suspects out there that are still on the loose and involved in this arson and burglary,” Lewis said.
Those connected to the school at the time of the fire attended the press conference. Berkeley County School Board Chair, Sally Wofford, a student at the time and a former principal Janie Langley fought back tears at the podium.
“It embodied a connection to family and learning,” said Wofford. “The magnificent hardwood floors, the vaulted ceilings, when I close my eyes and think about the school, I think about those floors and those ceilings and all the times that were had there; I pray this brings closure to a lot of people.”
“That school was our heart in a wonderful community with wonderful people,” said Langley. “It was an amazing high school and the love the community put into it and to see it burned; it broke our heart.”
Sheriff Lewis credited investigators from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division with help in making the arrest. Daniel Harris, has been formally charged and was given a $20,000 personal recognizance bond.