Family looks for answers in Kentucky woman's death

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The family of a Kentucky woman found dead in South Carolina are looking for answers.

Officials in Chester County, South Carolina say the body of Melissa Whitis was badly burned, and they are investigating it as a homicide.

31-year-old Melissa I. Whitis was found dead Sept. 20 on Lizzie Melton Road in Chester County, South Carolina.

Whitis was from Frankfort, but family members say she also had ties to Somerset and Lexington. Whitis was married with four children.

The family of Melissa Whitis says 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 on Wednesday.

"Are you sitting down? I said yes, He said Melissa is gone. Found her in a South Carolina ditch," said Larry Farris, Melissa's father.

Officials in Chester County say her body was badly burned, and they are investigating it as a homicide.

"She was my stepdaughter. She was a good person. Last year or so, a troubled life," said Kathryn Farris.

The Farris' don't know why Melissa was in South Carolina.

Police have not released the names of any suspects or persons of interest in the case. The exact cause of death has not been released.

"She didn't deserve this. Nobody deserves this to die like this. We will find out who did this, and they will pay," said Larry Farris.

The Chester County Sheriff’s Office is continuing an investigation into Whitis’ death.