Sheriff: Man Killed Girlfriend, Died While Burying Her Body

Joseph McKinnon's body was found first outside South Carolina home
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted May 11, 2022 9:10 AM CDT
Sheriff: Man Dies While Burying Body of Girlfriend He Killed
Stock photo.   (Getty Images)

Joseph McKinnon would be a good candidate for a Darwin award if the details surrounding his demise weren't so grim. Officials say the South Carolina man died of a heart attack during the process of burying his girlfriend, whom he'd strangled to death. The Edgefield County Sheriff's Office says it received a report Saturday morning of "an unresponsive male lying in his yard." Fox News cites a news release from Sheriff Jody Rowland that states they discovered McKinnon's body upon arrival and were unable to revive the 60-year-old. While investigating, they say they came upon another body in a newly dug pit. Those remains were identified as Patricia Dent, 65, who lived with McKinnon in the Trenton home.

Sheriff's officials believe that Dent was killed in the home, and an autopsy confirmed she died by strangulation. Per the release, "Mr. McKinnon then bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit." Officials say he partially covered her body with dirt before suffering the "cardiac event," reports the News & Observer. Dent's twin sister had this to say to Fox Carolina: "I'm shocked. I didn't see any of that coming." (More South Carolina stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.