According to the Edgefield County Sheriff, Joseph McKinnon strangled Patricia Dent to death inside the residence and was burying her in the backyard when he died from a heart attack.
They allege they located Joseph McKinnon’s body first, then Dent’s body in a garden pit, WJBF reported.
Edgefield County Sheriff Deputies responded to Tanglewood Drive in Trenton, South Carolina on Saturday and uncovered two dead, leaving neighbors with many concerns.
Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland and Edgefield County Coroner David Burnett issued the following statements:
“On Saturday morning Deputies along with the Edgefield County Coroner’s Office, and Edgefield County EMS responded to 102 Tanglewood Drive in Trenton, South Carolina to a call of an unresponsive man lying in his yard. Joseph Anthony McKinnon, 60, of the same address was found to be deceased in his yard.
Mr. McKinnon had no signs of trauma and natural causes were suspected. While investigating the death and making notifications to the next of kin, a second body, was located in a freshly dug pit. Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, of the same address appeared to have died by foul play.
Both bodies were autopsied on Monday, and the cause of death for Mr. McKinnon was determined to be a cardiac event. Ms. Dent was discovered strangled to death.
Investigators were able to construct a timeline based on evidence acquired at the scene and statements from eyewitnesses, leading everyone to assume that Mr. McKinnon assaulted Ms. Dent while she was inside their residence.
Mr. McKinnon then chained her and wrapped her in trash bags before placing her in the already excavated pit. Mr. McKinnon then partially filled in the pit. Mr. McKinnon died as a result of a cardiac episode while covering the pit.