Originally created 11/24/03

Across South Carolina



Campers discover pair of skeletons

DALZELL -Two boys on an overnight camping trip with their fathers found the skeletal remains of two people, Sumter County's sheriff says.

The bodies, found Saturday morning, could have been in the woods for seven months or possibly a year, Sheriff Tommy Mims said.

The remains were clothed, but it was impossible to immediately determine the gender of the bodies, which will be sent to Newberry for forensic pathological examinations today.

Sheriff Mims said he doesn't think the remains are of anyone the department has been investigating as missing. He said it is possible they are the bodies of migrant workers.

The bodies were found on farmland.

Crash during chase kills three people

COLUMBIA -Three Monetta residents died in a car accident during a police chase in Lexington County.

Driver Isaac Cullum, 24; his girlfriend, Josephine Grant Thomas, 30; and his cousin Patrick Eugene Harris, 31, were killed Friday night when their 1976 Chevrolet Nova hit an oak tree at an intersection.

The chase began when a Batesburg-Leesville officer noticed the car driving in the wrong lane, said state Highway Patrol spokesman Josef Robinson. The officer turned on emergency lights and sirens to try to pull the car over, but it sped off, authorities said.

The chase reached speeds of 100 mph before the driver lost control of the car at the intersection.

"That car was just torn to pieces," said county Deputy Coroner Todd Caughman.

No one in the car was wearing a seat belt.

The state Highway Patrol is investigating the accident, and Batesburg-Leesville police would not comment on the crash or the department's pursuit policies.

Death spurs doubts on mental health court

CHARLESTON -Local officials want to re-evaluate the county's Mental Health Court after an offender released from jail for treatment met with tragic consequences.

The court, the first of its kind in South Carolina, began in January and allows people with mental disorders who are charged with nonviolent crimes to get treatment and avoid prison. The process can take two to six weeks.

Asberry Wylder, a 41-year-old schizophrenic with substance-abuse problems, had been free for a week when he was fatally shot by North Charleston police after he reportedly stole ham from a supermarket.