December 3, 2022
South Carolina police believe a man died of a heart attack while burying a woman he had just strangled to death.

South Carolina police believe a man died of a heart attack while burying a woman he had just strangled to death.

Police in Edgefield County discovered the body of Joseph Anthony McKinnon, 60, in his yard on Saturday, and during their investigation, they found the woman he lived with, Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, in a “freshly dug pit,” according to authorities.

The Edgefield County Sheriff’s Department said it believes that McKinnon attacked Dent in their home.

An autopsy performed on Dent showed that she died by strangulation, according to the local media reports.

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After killing Dent, McKinnon “bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit,” the county sheriff said.

McKinnon was in the process of burying Dent’s body in the pit when he suffered a “cardiac event,” killing him, according to the sheriff.

Evidence gathered at the scene and statements from witnesses allowed police to build a timeline and piece together the tragic events that unfolded Saturday, local media reports.

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Dent’s sister, Pamela Briggs, spoke to a local news outlet on Tuesday and said that her sister’s killing was a shock.

“I’m shocked. I didn’t see any of that coming,” Briggs said. “Everybody who ever met her liked her. She was just full of energy. She was 65 and working.”

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