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Crime: Pawleys family mourns son shot in Myrtle Beach

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

Teresa Pyatt of the Parkersville community prayed that she would find her son, Joshua, Tuesday.

Missing since Sunday, he had been shot and abducted by a carjacker in Myrtle Beach.

When Teresa walked outside in the summer heat and felt a strong, cool breeze, she was sure that her prayers were going to be answered. Hours later police found Joshua Pyatt’s body in a car at the West Wind Apartments off 17th Avenue South in Myrtle Beach. He had been shot four times in the chest.

Now Teresa and Darryl Pyatt are trying to come to grips with the death of their 21-year-old son. Expressions of sympathy have filled Josh’s Facebook page, and relatives and well-wishers have been streaming to their house on Martin Luther King Road.

Cousins JoAnn and John Grate stopped Wednesday to express their sympathies. Their son, Antonio, 20, had been killed in a home invasion in Myrtle Beach four years ago. “I’ve been there, right where they are, in 2009,” JoAnn said. “When they ran in on my son. He was playing video games.”

Josh’s grandmother, Shelby Lance, said he was a “fun person who never bothered nobody.” His death has been hard on everyone.

Josh Pyatt was sitting behind the wheel of his sister’s car, a 2005 Nissan Altima, at 1102 Vereen Avenue in Myrtle Beach when a man with his face covered approached. Teresa Pyatt said a witness upstairs in the apartment building told her the gunman said, “Yo, give me everything you got.” She also said the witness told her Josh laughed at the gunman “like he knew the guy.”

Witnesses told Myrtle Beach police they heard four gunshots and saw a man push the driver over, get behind the steering wheel and drive away.

“My thing is,” the mother said, “how in the world can you ride around with this child, knowing he’s dead? Why not drop him off? I know you had to be looking at him. The boy’s in the seat.”

The Pyatts remember Josh as a warm, loving kid. “He loved life, and everybody loved him,” Teresa said. “He was just full of life. He liked to have fun and cut up and clown. He was a child who lived life to the fullest. He really did.” His father said his son was a “ladies’ man” but he’s at a loss as to the reason for his murder. “Why they did this to my child, I don’t know,” Darryl said. “We’re not trying to put him on a pedestal. I don’t know what other type of life he was living. I don’t know what he had going on.”

The father said his son had applied for a job at a chicken processing plant and wanted to be nearby when he got a call.

He had worked at Litchfield Fish House, busing tables and washing dishes before moving to Columbia after Memorial Day. “They loved him up there,” his mother said.

Josh’s supervisor, Eunice Johnson, said he had a charm about him, always walking in with a smile. She told his parents about his good manners. Owner Bob Mimms liked to joke with them about their son, the Pyatts said. “They made me feel good,” Teresa said. “There’s not a whole lot bad you could say about him, being a teen-ager like everybody else.”

Funeral arrangements are being conducted by Wilds Funeral Home.

Anyone with information is being asked to call the Myrtle Beach Police Department at 843-918-1382.

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