A 60-year-old man who strangled his girlfriend to death died of a heart attack while he was burying her lifeless body in their backyard, according to South Carolina police.
Joseph McKinnon reportedly dug a hole in their yard before strangling Patricia Dent, 65, on Saturday.
Police said that the elderly man tied up the victim’s body and wrapped it in trash bags.
Only moments after burying Dent in their backyard, McKinnon suffered a heart attack and died.
Neighbors who found McKinnon’s body immediately called the police, who found no sign of foul play. While informing his relatives, they discovered the body of Patricia-
Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland and coroner David Burnett said: “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, [led] us to believe that Mr McKinnon attacked Ms Dent while inside their home,” they said.
“The pit was then partially filled in by Mr McKinnon.
“While covering the pit, Mr McKinnon had the cardiac event, causing his death.”
Mr. Rowland added that police were called to 102 Tanglewood Drive, north of Trenton in west South Carolina, after shocked neighbors saw ‘an unresponsive male lying in his yard.’
Dent’s grieving sister Pamela Briggs said she was ‘shocked’ and ‘didn’t see any of this coming,’ according to Fox Carolina.
She said of Patricia: “Everybody who ever met her liked her. She was just full of energy. She was 65 and working. I would say a nightmare, and I want to wake up, and it’s a dream. I know it’s not.
“This is reality and life, and a big part of me is gone, and now I’m going to have to live with that.”
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