Dead man named in podcast ‘Serial’ suspected in 1996 cold case murder

A dead man named in the popular 2014 podcast “Serial” is being blamed for a cold case murder that stumped South Carolina detectives for decades.

Ronald Lee Moore, a convicted serial burglar from Baltimore County, Maryland, was named as a possible suspect in the famous podcast series for the 1999 killing of Baltimore resident Hae Min Lee. However, DNA tested in the case did not match Moore or Adnan Syad, the man convicted in Lee’s death.    

Instead, detectives in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina discovered DNA taken from the murder scene of South Carolina woman Shawn Marie Neal belonged to Moore.  

Neal was found strangled to death in her North Myrtle Beach condo in 1996.  She was 23-years-old.

FILE - In a Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016 file photo, Adnan Syed enters Courthouse East in Baltimore prior to a hearing. The hearing, scheduled to last three days before Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch, is meant to determine whether Syed's conviction will be overturned and case retried. After spending 16 years in prison, Syed, convicted of murder, who was at the center of the podcast "Serial" has won a new trial in Baltimore. Baltimore Circuit Judge Martin Welch ruled Thursday, June 30, 2016, that Syed deserves another trial because his attorney failed to cross-examine a cell tower expert about the reliability of data. (Barbara Haddock Taylor/The Baltimore Sun via AP, File) WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT /The Baltimore Sun via AP) WASHINGTON EXAMINER OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT ORG XMIT: MDBAE501

No arrests were made at the time of Neal’s murder and the case went cold until 2017, when it was reopened and DNA from towels and mattresses in the condo was matched against the national database. 

Authorities said Moore, who had no ties to North Myrtle Beach, may have traveled through the area on his way from Maryland to Louisiana, where he was said to have friends.

The convicted burglar was also suspected in other burglaries, sexual assaults, and homicides in Maryland in 1999. Baltimore police named Moore as a suspect in the 1999 murder of Annelise Hyang Suk Lee in 2013 through a DNA test.

Moore died in 2008 while being jailed for unrelated charges in Louisiana, said North Myrtle Beach police.

CONTRIBUTING: The Associated Press

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