A South Carolina man lost his life due to a heart attack he suffered while excavating a grave for his mur*dered girlfriend. He was excavating the hole to create a lovely water feature for his garden, he had informed one of his neighbours. But later on Saturday morning, a different neighbour noticed him lying motionless and facedown next to the hole. When they noticed this, they dialled the police.
“We get there and determine that he apparently has had a heart attack,” Rowland relates. “No trauma to his body.”
Upon discovering that McKinnon’s next of kin was not present, the deputies proceeded to find and notify them.
“However,” he continues, “we had a hard time finding his significant other.”
Patricia Ruth Dent, McKinnon’s flatmate and girlfriend, was wanted by the police. They made an attempt to get in touch with her at work, but since 7:30 a.m., her coworkers had been messaging her and she hadn’t responded. Even before the police showed up, everyone was concerned because this was out of the ordinary for her.
Deputies redirected their attention to the couple’s home.
“We continued to investigate the garden and this huge garden,” Rowland explains. “The house had been freshly cleaned, but we were able to identify blood in the house that tested as hers.”
“That took us back to the pit he was digging.”
“We got down in the pit and started digging around,” he continues. “We uncovered it enough that we found black garbage bags.”
A tape-tied body was discovered inside the bags when they were opened. An evidence investigation team was dispatched to the scene. This prompted a more thorough inquiry,” the sheriff says.
Deputies assembled a timeline of the couple’s final moments by speaking with witnesses to what happened. They were given the results of the body examinations on Monday.
Rowland states, “We were pretty certain about what we thought had happened, and the autopsy results helped to bring the story to a satisfying conclusion.”
He says of Dent, “She had been hit in the face, but that wasn’t what caused her death.” “The autopsy revealed she had been strangled. His death from a severe heart attack was confirmed by his autopsy.”
According to the sheriff, McKinnon taped Dent up after k*illing her and placed her body in two large trash bags. Then he drove to his garden, where he had dug a hole, and dragged the bags through the house to his truck. The truck was still parked in the garden when the deputies got there.
“Apparently he had been covering the hole, which didn’t make sense to a witness,” Rowland explains. “He was feverishly covering the pit, and so we just kind of put things together.”
“He attacked her, k*illed her, put her in the pit, and he died covering her up.”
Rowland described the circumstances as “very unusual and surprising.” The couple had no known history of domestic abuse, and his department had never before received a call for assistance from the Tanglewood Drive location.
He said, “To put it simply, this case is closed.”