Greenville County woman sentenced after dumping mother’s body in Tryon river

Published 6:47 pm Thursday, December 15, 2022

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Beth Beamer pleads guilty to theft of government property, unauthorized removal of a dead body


GREENVILLE COUNTY– A Greenville County woman has pleaded guilty to theft of government property charges after receiving nearly $70,000 in social security benefits intended for her deceased mother.

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Beth Edith Beamer, 48 of Mauldin S.C., admitted to taking the dead body of her mother, Rena Hefner Beamer, 83, from their Mauldin home and throwing it down a roadside embankment into a river in Tryon after she passed away in August of 2017.

According to the Social Security Administration, benefits for Rena Beamer were suspended in May of 2020 and were restarted in December of the same year after Beth Beamer had called to impersonate her mother. Beth Beamer provided an updated mailing address and bank account for payments, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Payments continued until May of 2021 when Greenville County Sheriff’s Office notified the Social Security Administration of the missing persons case of Rena Beamer. The payments Beth Beamer received totaled $69,909.40. 

Beth Beamer was sentenced to 16 months in prison for theft of government charges and will also have to serve three years of court-ordered supervision following her release from prison. She was also ordered to pay $68,909.40 in restitution.

Beamer also pleaded guilty to charges of obstruction of investigation, unauthorized removal of a dead body, and neglect of a vulnerable adult. She was sentenced with time served of 545 days on these charges. 

Madilyn Janet Ballard, 23 (left) & Tabitha Edith Shook, 28 (right) (Photo courtesy of Greenville County Sheriff’s Office)

In addition, Rena Beamer’s granddaughters, Tabitha Shook and Madilyn Ballard, were also charged. 

Tabitha Edith Shook, 28, pleaded guilty to obstruction of investigation and unauthorized removal of a dead body.

Madilyn Janet Ballard, 23, pleaded guilty to obstruction of investigation and filing a false police report of a misdemeanor violation.

Former Greenville County Deputy Joseph Parrish was fired by Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis in 2021 for failing to perform his duties in the missing persons case involving Rena Beamer.

According to the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Lewis terminated Parrish for conduct unbecoming a deputy and also requested that the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division conduct a criminal investigation.

Rena Hefner Beamer’s remains were found in a ravine alongside Highway 176 between Tryon and Saluda.


*This article has been updated with additional information