EDGEFIELD, S.C. - A gunshot to the head killed the young man found in Edgefield County last week, authorities said Tuesday.
But investigators with the Edgefield County Sheriff's Office continue to work with a Newberry pathologist for a positive identification of the remains found near Community Road, sheriff's Capt. Roger Lowe said.
An identification was expected Tuesday, but Capt. Lowe said the pathologist noticed dental work on one of the victim's teeth.
Dental records from 1996 provided by the mother of an Augusta teen reported missing Oct. 7 - and thought to be a possible match - did not show the work.
Capt. Lowe said an investigator traveled to Augusta on Tuesday to talk with the mother about any post-1996 dental work on her son's teeth. Officers recovered all but two of the teeth, which police say belonged to a young black male.
Officers found additional remains Sunday, but they still have only about 40 percent of the body, Capt. Lowe said. No shell casings were found, he added.
The discovery of the new dental work slows the possible positive identification of the young man, Capt. Lowe said.
"It doesn't cast doubt at all," he said. "It just hinders."
Capt. Lowe said the sheriff's office and the coroner want to be sure before any announcement is made to protect both their case and the feelings of the family of the missing teen.
"It could cause harm to our case and cause the family untold amount of grief," he said.
If an identification matches the Augusta boy, Capt. Lowe said, investigators will try to trace his steps. Capt. Lowe said there is no evidence of where the victim died or how he got to the wooded area.
Reach Matthew Boedy at (803) 648-1395 or firstname.lastname@example.org.