On Dec. 31, deputies from the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office were called to a metal bin at 850 Highway 1 between Lugoff Toyota and Camden West Inn after a citizen reportedly noticed a foul smell.
Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan told WACH-TV the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was processing the scene "as they would a homicide investigation."
Boan said, "Unfortunately, it appears the body has possibly been there for months. It was badly decomposed and mostly skeletal."
Investigators initially said they believed the remains were those of a woman, but they could not get any more specific than that. The coroner conducted an autopsy last week, and WIS-TV reports the remains were positively identified as 47-year-old Lesley Lemoine. A tattoo on her calf reportedly helped in the identification process.
According to WIS, Lemoine’s daughter Hannah Gates said she had not seen Lemoine since March.
Kershaw County Coroner David West told WIS Lemoine’s body will undergo toxicology tests, and some of her bones will be sent to an anthropologist to see if she suffered any trauma.
Kershaw County Sheriff Lee Boan added, "We’re assuming that the location we found her in was just where her body was dumped at. It’s a dump location, not necessarily the location of where she passed away at."
Gates is reportedly now trying to obtain full custody of Lemoine’s 10-year-old daughter.
Lemoine’s family described her as "a funny, charismatic, free spirit that loved Jesus and having a good time" in her obituary. She also reportedly dealt with addiction for 30 years. She leaves behind her mother, stepfather, brother, daughters, and other family members.