Amber Berbiglia was just 23 years old when she was murdered on May 3, 2013. Amber's sister Amanda and her family are hoping one of our viewers can help bring them the closure they so desperately want and need.

A horrifying sight in the mud: the dead body of a young woman laying near her car under a freeway overpass.

"She was hit in the face with something so hard that the injury looked like a gunshot wound," said Amanda Berbiglia. "She wasn't sexually assaulted, she wasn't robbed."

The desperate hunt for Amber Berbiglia's killer is ongoing. Who killed her, and why haven't police solved it?

Amber, 23, was a social butterfly, a petite sprite who loved to sing and dance. Amber dreamed of one day becoming a costume designer, and worked to achieve her goal in London at design school.

"She was studying fashion. She really was very artsy, and she loved anything having to do with art and fashion," Amanda tells Crime Watch Daily. "She had her own style, so she was heading in that direction."

After completing her studies abroad, Amber returned to her home in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Amanda remembers that on the last day of her sister's life, she was working the late shift waitressing when she noticed her phone blowing up. Family members were desperate to reach her.

"My aunt's husband told me that there had been an accident, that Amber had been shot. It didn't register what they were telling me," said Amanda. "I said 'Well is she OK? What do you mean she was shot?' And he said 'I'm sorry, honey, she's gone.'"

Amber talked to her family the day before she died. Her mom now cherishes the last voicemail Amber left her.

But the question that hangs in the air: Who would want Amber Berbiglia dead? It's a mystery that leaves a grieving family struggling for answers.

"She had a great soul and she would never hurt anybody or do anything to hurt anybody," said Amanda.

Kaitlin Stansell, from our Myrtle Beach affiliate WMBF-TV, has been covering Amber's murder since the day her body was found, and recalls cops were baffled from the very beginning.

"The main detective that I talked to said that it seemed pretty random," said Stansell. "Amber wasn't someone involved in criminal activity. She wasn't doing anything illegal. She had a bright future ahead of her and this kind of happened out of nowhere, it seemed."

The gruesome murder scene played out in broad daylight was called in to police by a random person who just happened to be passing by.

"It was a really disturbing scene," said Stansell. "The car was running right there by her body, and her cellphone still getting text messages and email alerts just a few inches from her fingertips."

And even more disturbing was the brutal way Amber Berbiglia met her tragic end.

"Originally Horry County detectives thought that she had been shot, but after an autopsy, they came back and said she had been beaten to death, that she had been hit twice in the head," said Stansell.

The autopsy also revealed that Amber didn't go down without a fight.

"Her arms showing that she did fight back when all of this was happening," said Stansell.

As cops dig deeper into the case, they soon learn Amber has a fiancé. But is there another mystery man too?

Amber Berbiglia, 23, was just about to graduate college, and was ready to start a life with her fiancé that she met abroad, with plans to maybe even open a travel agency in London.

But shortly after she was seen paying her cable bill, she was found murdered in broad daylight. Her body was found lying under a freeway overpass in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

"She had been injured severely and was deceased when we arrived," said Horry County Police Detective Jonathan Martin. "She was near her vehicle and there was no witnesses on scene."

At first cops thought Amber had been shot twice in the head, But the coroner's report soon revealed she actually died from blunt-force trauma.

"Originally, Horry County detectives thought that she had been shot, but after an autopsy, they came back and said she had been beaten to death, that she had been hit twice in the head, that it was a pretty brutal murder," said WMBF-TV's Kaitlin Stansell.

Cops know how she died, but the identity of the killer is a mystery.

"It's such a confusing situation, you know, for her to be found dead in the middle of the day on a Friday afternoon on the side of the street," said Amanda Berbiglia.

Police cordoned off the area and scoured the muddy clearing where Amber's body was found, looking for clues, but their ground search came up empty.

So cops turn their radar to Amber's personal life and quickly learn the 23-year-old had a fiancé, a guy she met while studying in London.

Jose Soler, a handsome college student from Spain, swept Amber off her feet. Her family loved Soler, and by all accounts the couple had a fairytale relationship.

"They had the relationship that everybody wishes they could find," Amanda said. "He just loved every bit of her and you could tell when he looked at her, he saw everything good about her."

After two years of dating, the couple got engaged. And when Amber returns to the U.S., there's a flurry of pre-wedding activity. Dreams of that white wedding would turn dark. Amber was killed just six weeks before she was set to walk down the aisle with Jose Soler.

Cops immediately home in on Soler, but it didn't take long to run into a dead end. Soler had an airtight alibi. He was in Europe.

Cops now retrace Amber's steps just hours before her death. Amber's family claims police showed them surveillance video of Amber paying her cable bill at about 1:30 the afternoon of her murder. Amber's body was found a little more than a mile away about two hours later. Cops wonder if those security cameras in the cable office identify a possible suspect.

"They noticed in the cameras at the Time Warner place that the person in line behind her was looking at her kind of in an aggressive manner," said Amanda.

Police haven't publicly released the surveillance video, but when they track down and question that mystery man, the family says, he was cleared.

Detectives then pick up Amber's trail to a gas station, where surveillance cameras capture images of Amber just hours before her death. But much to the frustration of cops and Amber's family, nothing comes from that video. The investigation is at a standstill.

Then investigators find other videos.

"There may have been two African-American people, men that she may have had some sort of association with," said Amanda.

Cops seize footage from security cameras mounted all along the highway, though they're not releasing those videos either. The footage apparently shows Amber's SUV, and cops say she wasn't alone that day.

"So they have her in the car that day running her errands and she went off on the side street where there weren't any cameras for like a half-hour is all. They lost her or something like that. And when she came back into camera view there was a dark figure in her passenger side they were never able to identify," said Amber.

No identity, and also no explanations.

"There are a lot of missing pieces in this case," said Kaitlin Stansell. "We don't know what she was killed with, what she was doing in that area, who she was with at that time, so a lot of circumstances around those pieces are missing."

The family is frustrated with what they say was the snail's pace of an investigation. After just three months the strange murder hits the cold-case file.

Crime Watch Daily reached out to the Horry County Police Department, but they declined our request for an interview.

"I don't think that the investigation ever really took off," said Amanda Berbiglia. "I feel like they immediately started you coming up against walls that they you know couldn't figure it out and gave up too quickly."

And now, five years later, still no answers. All Amanda has to hold onto are faded pictures of her beloved sister, who was taken too soon.

To ease their broken hearts, Amber's family has erected a memorial in her memory, a collection of photos, flowers and mementos arranged under the freeway overpass where she died. The family has set up a website with information about that case at JusticeForAmber.org.


If you know anything about Amber Berbiglia's murder, or remember seeing her the day she died, contact Crime Stoppers of South Carolina at (800) CRIME-SC.

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