TRENTON, SC (WJBF)- A South Carolina man died of a heart attack in a backyard while he was burying the body of a woman he killed, according to authorities.
The Edgefield County Sheriff said evidence shows Joseph McKinnon, 60, strangled Patricia Dent, 65, inside the home and was burying her in the backyard when he had the heart attack. They said they discovered Joseph McKinnon’s body first, before finding Dent’s body in a backyard pit in Trenton, South Carolina.
Neighbors in Trenton, South Carolina are left with plenty of questions after Edgefield County Sheriff Deputies responded to Tanglewood Drive on Saturday and discovered the two bodies. An autopsy shows Dent died from strangulation.
Evidence gathered at the scene and statements from witnesses aided investigators to build a timeline, leading them to believe that McKinnon attacked Dent while inside their home.
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McKinnon then bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit. While covering the pit, McKinnon had a cardiac event, causing his death.
See full statement from Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland and Edgefield County Coroner David Burnett:
“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.
On Monday, autopsies were performed on both bodies, and the cause of death for Mr. McKinnon was confirmed to be a cardiac event. Ms. Dent was found to have died by strangulation.
Evidence gathered at the scene, along with statements from witnesses aided investigators to build a timeline, leading us to believe that Mr. McKinnon attacked Ms. Dent while inside their home.
Mr. McKinnon then bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit. The pit was then partially filled in by Mr. McKinnon. While covering the pit, Mr. McKinnon had the cardiac event, causing his death.”