A ‘mummified’ body was discovered inside a clothing donation bin on New Year’s Eve.
Someone found the body on Saturday shortly before 9am after smelling a foul odor and checking the rusty bin off US Highway 1, according to investigators.
The body appeared to have been in the bin for months and was ‘virtually mummified’, Kershaw County Coroner David West told WIS. The bin was between Lugoff Toyota and Camden West Inn in Columbia, South Carolina.
West said he initially thought the victim was an individual who used the donation bin as a home in light of the cold weather recently. However, the remains were so decomposed that they could only belong to someone who had died some time ago.
‘The donation bin had likely not been emptied in many years,’ said West, adding that it contained a collection of VHS tapes and other old items.
Sheriff’s officials believe the victim may have been an adult woman based on the way the clothing was positioned on the body.
But it was not possible to identify the victim or the age since the body ‘was badly decomposed and mostly skeletal’, Sheriff Lee Boan told Fox 57.
‘We are taking all precautions,’ said Boan. ‘SLED’s (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division) crime scene unit processed the scene as they would a homicide investigation. Unfortunately, it appears the body has possibly been there for months.’
There were no signs of how the victim died. An autopsy has been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon for the cause and manner of death.
‘I can assure you that your KCSO (Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office) and coroner’s office investigators are thoroughly working this suspicious death,’ stated Boan.
‘We will know more facts as the investigation moves forward. It is very early in the investigation. We are NOT ruling out anything at this time.’
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