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Two bodies found at Rivers Bridge State Park in Bamberg County

Two decomposed bodies were found on the grounds of Rivers Bridge State Park on Friday morning, according to S.C. Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry.

Berry said park rangers notified Bamberg County authorities about the discovery around 8:30 a.m.

The bodies have been taken to Newberry, where they will undergo autopsies, Berry said.

Bamberg County Coroner Billy Duncan said the bodies are those of a man and a woman.

He said the bodies have not been officially identified as he is attempting to reach possible next of kin.

“SLED agents were called to the scene as we are investigating the disappearance of a man and woman from the Bamberg area on Dec. 12. That casework is ongoing,” Berry said.

The Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement noting the bodies could be the missing man and woman. They are:

* Janis Quintero Natos, a 35-year-old white female. She’s 5 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 263 pounds. She was last seen wearing her pajamas. Her purse was left at her residence.

* Jamell Reggie Carter, a 38-year-old black male. He’s 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs 290 pounds. He requires medications, which were left at home.

The two were last seen driving a gray Dodge Grand Caravan with S.C. tag PPA889.

Anyone with information on their whereabouts is asked to contact the Bamberg County Sheriff's Office at 803-245-3000 or 803-245-3018.


LARRY HARDY, T&D 

Rachelann Cathcart of Buffalo, S.C., and her sister Jolee KadyJean Cathcart, are the owners of Friday's treeing contest winner, Astro. Saturday's treeing contest will begin at 1 p.m. The Grand American Coon Hunt is being held at the Orangeburg County Fairgrounds.


Local
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‘Tracy loves Billy’: Facebook request gets heartwarming response for couple

FOLLY BEACH — It started with an unlikely request.

An Orangeburg woman posted on Facebook that she and her husband wouldn't be able to travel to Folly Beach to celebrate their anniversary, but asked if anyone would be willing to write "Tracy loves Billy" in the sand and take a picture so she could show her husband.

The request was posted in the "I Love Folly Beach SC" Facebook group.

Tracy Varn said she and her husband renew their vows every New Year's Eve at their home on Folly Beach but were unable to travel this year after Billy hurt his back.

In just a few hours, Tracy received nearly 30 photos from people who took the time to write the sweet message in the sand.

Some of the messages were constructed out of seashells, others were formed using sticks. Many were surrounded by hearts.

"Oh my goodness guys. ... I have never been more humbled," she posted following the outpouring of love.

"We ended up renewing our vows at our other home in Orangeburg last night and both my husband and I were overwhelmed by the pics," Tracy stated New Year's Day, adding that they have renewed their vows every year for the past 33 years.

"This is why we love Folly," she states.


Crime-and-courts
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Santee man charged with distributing meth

A Santee man has been charged after investigators responded to citizens’ complaints about drug activity, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.

“We received numerous complaints about this area, and we responded,” Ravenell said. “This the definition of community policing. Many times it’s the only way to rid the streets of crime.”

Marion Kale Till, who turns 55 on Monday, was charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

During a hearing on Friday, bond was set at $10,000 cash or surety.

Deputies told the court during the hearing Till was already on electronic monitoring as part the sentencing from a previous crime.

Investigators went to Till’s home on Ballards Lane on Thursday after concerned citizens reported drug sales occurring in and around the residence.

After obtaining consent to search, investigators allegedly found methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the residence.

While investigators were conducting their search, a vehicle driven by a 32-year-old Vance man drove up to the residence.

When investigators spoke to that man, they discovered his license was suspended, according to the sheriff’s office. He was charged with driving under suspension.


Crime-and-courts
breakingtop story
Springfield man charged in 2018 sex assault

A Springfield man wanted in a 2018 sexual and physical assault has been apprehended, according to Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell.

“This was a brutal and senseless assault on an individual,” Ravenell said. “No one deserves this type of treatment.”

Michael Corbitt, 25, has been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, first-degree assault and battery, and carjacking.

On Sept. 23, two men stopped to help a woman after they saw her screaming and waving for help from inside a black Nissan. The woman was bleeding from her mouth, a sheriff’s office incident report states.

As the men attempted to intervene, a male inside the Nissan yelled for them to leave. However, the woman was thrown from the vehicle when the men attempted to extract her from the vehicle, the report said.

Deputies noted the woman had a bloody lip and face, swollen eyes and cheeks and what appeared to be a bite mark on her hand.

The woman said Corbitt struck her during an argument earlier that day, according to the report.

Corbitt then allegedly drove her to a remote road outside of Springfield where he pulled her out of the car and began beating her.

A warrant alleges she was sexually assaulted during the ordeal.

She was taken to a local convenience store where she jumped into the driver’s seat of her car, the release said. As she attempted to leave, he jumped onto the hood of the car.

The victim continued to drive but for fear of his, she stopped.

At that point, he allegedly forced his way back into the car and began punching the victim in the “face, head, and stomach.”

During Friday’s bond hearing, the victim told the court she wanted to drop the charges.

However, Orangeburg County Magistrate Stephanie McKune-Grant denied the motion, saying, “didn’t you just state it happened?”

Bond was set on Corbitt at $16,000 for the four charges.