Man dies of heart attack as he digs a grave to bury the woman he killed

The man partially filled the pit with the body inside when he suffered a "cardiac event"

Mike Stunson
The Charlotte Observer

TRENTON, SC — A man is accused of strangling a woman he lived with before he died of a heart attack as he buried her in their yard, according to South Carolina police.

Deputies in Edgefield County, about 20 miles north of Augusta, were sent to a Trenton home on Saturday, May 7, for a report “of an unresponsive male lying in his yard,” sheriff’s officials said. When they arrived, they found the body of 60-year-old Joseph Anthony McKinnon, who lived at the residence, Sheriff Jody Rowland said.

As their investigation continued, deputies said they found a second body “in a freshly dug pit.” This body was confirmed to be of 65-year-old Patricia Ruth Dent, who lived with McKinnon, Rowland said in a news release.

Sheriff’s officials believe McKinnon attacked Dent in their home. She died by strangulation, an autopsy showed.

“Mr. McKinnon then bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit,” according to the sheriff.

McKinnon partially filled the pit with Dent’s body inside when he suffered a “cardiac event,” which caused his death, the sheriff said.

The relationship between McKinnon and Dent is unknown.


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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