The Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office has found the body of an 18-year-old woman missing since mid-summer. A man charged in other crimes is accused of murdering her.
“It is with my deepest regret and sorrow that I have to say we are no longer searching for Imani Gleaton, a young lady reported missing in July,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said in a release.
“It pains me to say we have brought her home, but we have also made an arrest in her murder,” he said.
Jykeem Johnson, 18, has been charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime in connection with the death of Gleaton.
Johnson, with addresses in Orangeburg and Calhoun counties, was charged in unrelated cases earlier this week with attempted murder, armed robbery and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.
While Johnson spoke with investigators about those charges, he allegedly volunteered he had killed Gleaton and buried her near Elloree.
Gleaton was located by sheriff’s office crime scene investigators on Thursday.
“My heart just breaks for any parent living this nightmare,” Ravenell said. “As I watched this child being unearthed, I thought ‘This was just a wicked and evil act.’”
Gleaton went missing July 10. The Orangeburg woman was reportedly dropped off at a relative’s apartment after leaving her place of employment in St. Matthews.
Gleaton was reported missing initially in Calhoun County before investigators determined she was last seen in Orangeburg County.
Warrants allege that sometime on July 11, Johnson shot her.
The other cases include an Oct. 2 incident, when Johnson allegedly robbed a relative at gunpoint, taking another firearm, cash and clothing after a dispute over missing money.
The attempted murder charge stems from an Oct. 4 incident. Officers investigating a multi-vehicle crash on Charleston Highway discovered a 19-year-old in one of the vehicles had been shot multiple times.
During a Friday hearing, bond for Johnson was deferred to a circuit court judge.