Originally created 03/03/98

Body found in Aiken identified



AIKEN -- A man found shot to death in a rural Aiken County field on Saturday was a Miami resident, investigators say.

Oswald Strachan, 34, was identified Monday through fingerprints, Aiken County sheriff's spokesman Lt. Michael Frank said. Sheriff's detectives are investigating the death as a murder, said Lt. Frank.

A native of Nassau, Bahamas, Mr. Strachan had lived in several locations throughout the United States, including recently in the Washington area, said Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend.

No other information regarding Mr. Strachan was released by investigators Monday.

Investigators were able to identify the victim after receiving information via fax late Monday afternoon, Mrs. Townsend said.

The coroner declined to discuss details of the clue that helped determine the man's identity.

"I'm impressed with the technology of the 90s, that's all I'm going to say right now," she said.

Early on, investigators didn't believe the victim was from the area because his fingerprints didn't match any listed in the state's Automated Fingerprint System records, Mrs. Townsend said.

The body was discovered at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday by a group of horseback riders in the vicinity of a utility-line clearing near Bettis Academy and Fields Cemetery roads in north Aiken County.

Mr. Strachan died of at least one gunshot wound, Mrs. Townsend said. She declined further comment on the cause of death until the final results of the autopsy are released.

Because the body was found near the Edgefield County line, Edgefield sheriff's detectives are assisting with the investigation.