Originally created 08/29/00

Missing resident identified



AIKEN - A body found in a wooded area Saturday has been identified as that of Connie Quattlebaum, 33, who has been missing since July 10.

Aiken County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Michael Frank said Monday afternoon that investigators found dental records Monday morning that positively identified Ms. Quattlebaum.

The pathologist used dental records to make the identification, he said.

Lt. Frank said that initial dental records used to try to identify the body during the weekend were about 20 years old, too old to make a positive identification.

Fingerprints could not be used because of the advanced state of decomposition. Investigators said they believed Ms. Quattlebaum had been dead at least 30 days when her body was discovered.

Lt. Frank said the cause of death is under investigation. But he said there were "no obvious signs of foul play."

Aiken County Corner Sue R. Townsend said it should be a couple of weeks before the results of tests are known.

Although the cause of death is unknown, she said, "I'm still not suspicious of foul play."

Mrs. Townsend said she believes Ms. Quattlebaum's death occurred as a result of an accident or natural causes. "I don't want to put the fear of God in people" simply because Ms. Quattlebaum was found dead in a wooded area, she said.

Ms. Quattlebaum was found Saturday by two boys on four-wheelers about 100 yards off of Edgefield Highway.

She lived about three-quarters of a mile from where her body was found.

Her common-law husband, John Coffey, waited two weeks before notifying police of her disappearance, because Ms. Quattlebaum had left home in the past. Previously, however, she had always called to let someone know she was safe.

Deputies on Saturday searched the woods for several hours for evidence that would tell them how the woman died, but they would not say what items were taken from the scene.

Until authorities are sure of the cause of death, they are handling the matter as a death investigation.

Ms. Quattlebaum was a 1985 graduate of Midland Valley High School and had a son, Wesley Quattlebaum, of Gloverville, and a daughter, Lindsey Quattlebaum, of Burnettown.

Reach Rick Green at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.