Upstate woman who threw body in Tryon river sentenced

Published 11:22 am Thursday, May 18, 2023

Beth Beamer sentenced to maximum of 19 months in federal prison


POLK COUNTY– A South Carolina woman was sentenced to 8 to 19 months in prison on Wednesday after she pleaded guilty to failure to report a death.  

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Beth Edith Beamer, 48, admitted to throwing the body of her mother, Rena Hefner Beamer, down an embankment and into a river near Tryon in 2017. She was charged with failure to report a death by Polk County Sheriff’s Office on April 18.

In December of last year, Beamer pleaded guilty to theft of government property in Greenville County and was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison. 

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, she received nearly $70,000 of social security benefits intended for her deceased mother. Beamer pretended to be her mother when speaking with the Social Security Administration, having benefits deposited into a bank account that she had access to until the SSA was made aware of a missing persons case of Rena Beamer. 

Polk County brought charges once Beamer completed her initial sentence in federal prison. 

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



*This article has been updated with additional information