TRENTON, S.C. (TCD) -- A 60-year-old man died in his backyard while burying a woman he allegedly strangled to death.
According to WJBF-TV, on Saturday, May 7, at approximately 10 a.m., deputies from the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office responded to a home on Tanglewood Drive, where they found two bodies. Joseph McKinnon, 60, was located in his backyard and 65-year-old Patricia Dent was in a "freshly dug pit."
The Edgefield County sheriff and Edgefield County coroner initially said in a statement that McKinnon likely died from natural causes and had no signs of trauma. Dent, however, "appeared to have died by foul play." Autopsies later showed McKinnon suffered cardiac arrest and Dent was strangled to death.
According to WJBF, investigators suspect McKinnon killed Dent inside their home and then wrapped her body in trash bags and tried to bury her. As McKinnon buried her, he went into cardiac arrest and died.
Dent and McKinnon lived at the Tanglewood Drive address together.
WRDW-TV reports Dent was scheduled to work at Mount Vintage Golf Club but did not show up for work. Officials called Dent’s twin sister, Pamela Briggs, and asked if she might know Dent’s whereabouts, but she did not.
Briggs told WRDW the whole situation feels like a "nightmare," and she wants to wake up from a bad dream.
She said, "This is reality and life, and a big part of me is gone, and now I’m going to have to live with that."