FOX NEWS – A man accused of strangling his girlfriend died of a heart attack while burying her in their yard.
Joseph McKinnon, 60, killed Patricia Dent, 65, inside a Trenton, South Carolina home Saturday, Sheriff Jody Rowland said in a news release.
Deputies responded to the residence over reports of “an unresponsive male lying in his yard.”
When they arrived, they found McKinnon’s body. [See the full statement from the sheriff and coroner.]
Statement from Sheriff Jody Rowland and Coroner David Burnett:
On Saturday morning, Deputies along with the Edgefield County Coroner’s Office, and Edgefield County EMS responded to 102 Tanglewood Drive in Trenton, South Carolina to a call of an unresponsive man lying in his yard.
Joseph Anthony McKinnon, 60, of the same address was found to be deceased in his yard. Mr. McKinnon had no signs of trauma and natural causes were suspected.
While investigating the death and making notifications to the next of kin, a second body, was located in a freshly dug pit. Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, of the same address appeared to have died by foul play.
On Monday, autopsies were performed on both bodies, and the cause of death for Mr. McKinnon was confirmed to be a cardiac event. Ms. Dent was found to have died by strangulation.
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.
Mr. McKinnon then bound her and wrapped her in trash bags before putting her in the previously dug pit. The pit was then partially filled in by Mr. McKinnon.
While covering the pit, Mr. McKinnon had the cardiac event, causing his death.