South Carolina

Former SC cop, one of US most-wanted, caught in China, reports say

A former South Carolina cop who is one of the federal government’s most wanted criminal suspects has been caught, according to a Charleston television station.

Daniel Hiers, a former Charleston cop and one of the U.S. Marshals 15 most wanted, was on the run for 13 years after allegedly molesting a child and killing his wife. Now, he is in custody, according to WCSC in Charleston, which cited a source it did not name.

Earlier Friday, The State quoted a spokesman from the U.S. Marshals Service saying Hiers was in custody in China. On Friday afternoon, the spokesman said the agency could not confirm whether Hiers was arrested.

“The only thing we can say at this time is that we are aware of what’s being reported in the news and in social media and that we are fully engaged with our international partners,” the spokesperson said.

Reports of Hiers’ arrest came only days after The State posted a story on SC’s most wanted suspects.

In a release 13 years ago, the U.S. Marshals Service said Hiers “betrayed his badge in the worst way,”

With 11 years of experience in law enforcement, Hiers was one of the most infamous wanted suspects in South Carolina. North Charleston police charged Hiers with committing a lewd act on an 11-year old girl who he met through a karate class in 2004, CNN reported. The Charleston Police Department removed Hiers from duty following the accusation.

Further charges of criminal sexual conduct with a minor were issued against Hiers in 2005, according to the Marshals Service. On the day he was to surrender to authorities, he didn’t show up. That same day, his wife’s body was found in their home with a gunshot wound to the head. Hiers was seen leaving the home around the time of the killing. The Goose Creek Police Department in Berkeley County charged Hiers with murder.

Hiers was called by John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted one of his personal most wanted suspects. Tips and sightings of Hiers came in over 13 years.

Some have been running for almost 30 years. Here are 19 of SC’s most-wanted susp

Recently, Chinese social media and news outlets reported that the former cop was an English teacher at a prominent Shanghai school. Reports that Hiers is an accused killer and child molester in the U.S. enraged users on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter.

Hier Chinese social media post.jpg
Screen shot from Weibo

A former student at the Shanghai school claimed Hiers was a teacher there after the student moved from Shanghai to California and randomly checked out the U.S. Marshals Service website, according to English language Chinese news outlet Shaghaiist.

The Goose Creek Police Department in Berkeley County charged Hiers with murder and criminal sexual conduct with a minor before, as the former cop disappeared. The assistant chief for that department John Grainger said, “The Goose Creek Police Department is aware of internet reports that Dan Hiers, a subject wanted by this agency on an outstanding murder warrant issued in 2005, is in custody overseas.”

“To-date, we have relied upon the expertise of the US Marshals Service to locate and apprehend Hiers,” Grainger said. “We will continue to rely on the US Marshal’s Service in this regard and defer any questions regarding Hiers’ custody status to them.

The U.S. Marshals Service said arresting Hiers would be important.

“He’s one of the top 15,” a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals said. “Those are always big.