Ring might help identify burned body

The Aiken County Coroner's Office has identified one victim of this week's double homicide and hopes this ring will help name the other.

AIKEN --- Aiken County Sheriff's Office investigators hope a sterling silver ring will help identify a homicide victim.

Authorities identified one victim, Yana Schenker, 75, on Friday, and think a ring worn by the other victim might be a clue to her identity.

Schenker's body was found Wednesday about 9 p.m. when Aiken Public Safety officers responded to an alarm at her home at 105 Paddock Bend. As officers put out a fire in a bonus room over the garage, they found Schenker's body, which was burned beyond recognition.

Schenker bought the house in 2002, according to Aiken County records. She boarded a horse on the 2-acre property, and it is now being cared for by animal control, according to Aiken County sheriff's spokesman Troy Elwell.

Within an hour of the call at Schenker's home Wednesday, sheriff's deputies were called to a brush fire at the corner of Storm Branch and Old Storm Branch roads.

There, officers found a white woman, between 25 and 35 years old, also burned beyond recognition. Officers say she weighed between 130 to 145 pounds and had brown hair and hazel eyes. She was wearing the sterling silver ring.

Although investigators haven't said what links the two women, they have said the deaths are connected.

The women died of asphyxiation before their bodies were burned, according to Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton.

So far, officers haven't been able to name any suspects or persons of interest in the case, Elwell said.

Anyone with information on the women can contact the Aiken County Sheriff's Office at (803) 642-1741.

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