Man Dies of Heart Attack While Burying Body of Woman He Allegedly Murdered
A South Carolina man reportedly died of a heart attack while attempting to bury the body of a woman he allegedly murdered.
Authorities were originally called to a home in Trenton, S.C., after receiving reports of an unresponsive man in the yard, according to NPR.
Once they arrived, they found Joseph McKinnon dead in yard. While authorities were investigating the cause of the 60-year-old man's death, they found the body of 65-year-old Patricia Ruth Dent "in a freshly dug pit."
The two had reportedly been living together at the address. Dent's workplace told police she hadn't shown up for work, which prompted them to search the large hole dug in the garden, where her deceased body was found.
"Evidence gathered at the scene, along with statements from witnesses aided investigators to build a timeline, leading us to believe that Mr. McKinnon attacked Ms. Dent while inside their home," the police said in a statement to NPR.
Investigators immediately believed McKinnon died of natural causes, and suspected foul play when it came to Dent's death.
"Mr. McKinnon then bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit," the statement continued. "The pit was then partially filled in by Mr. McKinnon. While covering the pit, Mr. McKinnon had the cardiac event, causing his death."
A coroner confirmed McKinnon suffered a cardiac arrest. Dent died by strangulation.
Dent's twin sister, Pamela Briggs, said she was "shocked" by her sister's death.
"I didn’t see any of that coming," she told TV station WRDW. "Everybody who ever met her liked her. She was just full of energy. She was 65 and working."