The family of Drew Cato still wants closure after hearing that remains found in McCormick County on Sunday are in fact those of the father who went missing three weeks ago.
Richmond County investigators announced Wednesday that dental records helped ID Cato, who went missing May 5 after work in Augusta.
Two people, 23-year-olds Blaeke Wolfe and Devin Stringfield were arrested and charged for murder.
Stringfield faces a second felony for possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime.
The positive identification is not quite the full closure the family needs according to Andy Cato, Drew’s father.
“The first phase is to figure out what happened. The second phase was to bring Drew home. And now the third phase is to bring justice for Drew,” Cato told NewsChannel 6.
One chapter may be closed for the Cato family, but now they move on to make sure those responsible for killing the father of two pay.
“We don’t know if there are just two or there are five, but we want to make sure that everybody involved gets punished,” he said.
Richmond County investigators confirmed Cato’s identity through dental records after human remains were found in McCormick County. Investigators there along with SLED assisted.
Drew’s sister, Alaina Cato, said she does not have closure either. “I was robbed not just of my brother, my sons were robbed of their uncle that just adored them.”
Another person is also remorseful, Anthony Walden, the father of Blaeke Wolfe.
“Serious condolences to the Cato family. At the same time I want to thank them for being there to take the grandson Hayden out of that situation,” he told us.
Walden said he drove from Illinois, where he now resides, to help search for Drew and talk with Wolfe. And even though he only met him once, he built a home in Illinois for his daughter, Drew and their son. But he said they decided not to relocate after fights between Drew and Blaeke Wolfe turned to a custody battle.
“He was doing the right thing if that’s what he was going to do. Just being a daddy, being a father,” Walden said.
“I believe Blaeke is to blame,” Andy Cato contends. “I believe everything centers around her. That’s just my personal opinion. I don’t have any inside knowledge. But I believe Blaeke is to blame and maybe she had help from others.”
Drew’s legacy starts with Project Drew, an organization comprised of the same search crew now availing themselves for other missing persons.
Friend and co-worker Larry Diaz told us that organization entails, “Taking what we formed and what we’ve created looking for him and all the contacts that we’ve made and try to pass that forward.”
Memories of his generosity and stories that tell the same are also included in Drew’s legacy.
Cato remembered one such story told to him recently.
“I just want to let you know one day I had a flat tire and Drew came and changed my flat tire. I said that was good because I said he came and borrowed my jack and my tools to change your tires with,” he said of how helpful his son was.
And a final legacy will be left with his children and extended children he touched through coaching baseball.
His sister shared, “What he would want is for me to remember the good times. Laugh and joke and smile and do like he always said. Do what my papa would do. Take care of mama. Take care of the babies. Make sure that they don’t want for anything.”
The community can attend a memorial service for Drew Cato this weekend. It takes place Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at First Christian Church of Augusta. That’s located at 629 Greene Street in downtown Augusta. It will be open to the public.
Photojournalist: Mark Gaskins