Suspected molester held in South Carolina

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
A man wanted for 25 felony sex offenses against a child in Rowan County has been arrested in Horry County, S.C.
James Eric Gardner, 34, of Little River, is wanted by the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office for 24 counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor and one count of first- degree sex offense.
The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office began an investigation in July when a teenage girl receiving mental health services told a social worker she had been molested years ago.
Capt. John Sifford said the incidents occurred between August 1999 and February 2001 when the girl was 5 to 6 years old.
Rowan Sheriff’s Detective Greg Hannold conducted an extensive investigation, including interviewing several family members. As a result of the investigation, he issued issued the warrants.
Sifford said Gardner was living on Long Ferry Road when the incidents occurred.
Hannold determined that Gardner might be living in the Myrtle Beach area in Horry County.
“He notified agencies there to keep an eye out for this guy,” Sifford said Monday.
According to published reports, officers received a tip concerning Gardner’s whereabouts. He was arrested Thursday.
Gardner is being held in the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County pending extradition to Rowan.