Feb. 7, 2021

Crystal Gail Soles

Every time I hear of (another) missing person in Georgetown, my thoughts go immediately to Crystal Gail Soles. Indeed, when Tina (Tisdale) Cooper recently went missing, Crystal came to the forefront of my mind again. As I was talking to Ginger Goude about Tina, Crystal’s face flashed.

I glanced at the date and realized, it’s been just over 16 years since Crystal Soles went missing. January 24, 2005 marks the anniversary of her disappearance. Whenever I try to sit down and write about her, I get choked up; even now.

Although, she was a drug user, that’s not how I met her. I was a nurse at the detention center when she came through. There are certain people in your life that will always stay with you, whether it be their maladies, illnesses, something they said, or how you felt, but they will always be there. Crystal is that person for me.

I didn’t know inmates when they were inebriated; 90% of them, I met when they were sober and a completely different person. As I said, I did not know her as a drug user. I knew Crystal Soles as a soft spoken woman, kind eyes, funny, smart… just a good person who got caught up in the wrong scenes and didn’t know how to break free.

I’m reminded of one of her visits to my office. She admitted to me that she was “strung out.”

Why don’t you get some rehab or something when you’re released, Crystal?’ I offered. “I can look some places up for you and give you the information. I’m sure there are some that won’t charge, or if they do, they won’t charge you much.”

She chuckled, ever so lightly, and with a sadness in her eyes, that I can still see today, she said, “I hope I don’t get out. I’m safer in jail.”

I didn’t probe and ask questions. My offer was on the table for her if she changed her mind. However, I did tell my, then supervisor, about the conversation.

I bet so!” my supervisor exclaimed. “She’s an informant for the police. I heard… at least, the word on the street is, someone put a contract on her.”

(the jailhouse rumor mill)

Who?”

I don’t know! I’m guessing it was whomever she turned in to the police.”

I came into work a couple of days later and Crystal had already been released. I watched the newspapers looking for something on her. It came on a Monday: Crystal’s family was looking for her. I was looking for her, too.

If there was ever time I was hoping that an inmate would return to jail, it was her, but alas, that didn’t happen.

She was such a beautiful, beautiful person. I would like to see her come home and bring her family some peace. Or the worst case scenario, her remains brought home to give her family some peace. Either way it goes, the memories that I have of Crystal Gail Soles will stay with until the day I die.

I ask anyone: if you know something, please contact Crime Stoppers. Let’s bring her home. Before you disregard the notion, think about this: What if it were you… or your family?

Crime Stoppers (SC): 864-467-5357

24 Hour Tip Line: 910-343-1131 or 910-232-1687