Confirming what authorities have suspected, Edgefield County Coroner Thurmond Burnett said Thursday the body found inside the trunk of a burning car off Deep Step Road near the McCormick County, S.C., line is that of Jack A. Murray, 63, of Oakton Trail in Evans.
Mr. Murray died of smoke inhalation and burns. Firefighters discovered his body Monday evening.
Four teens, including Mr. Murray's stepson, Shannon Devon Patton, were charged Wednesday in Columbia County in his kidnapping.
Mr. Patton, 17, of the 200 block of Oakridge Drive, Randy Allen Conrad II, 17, of the 3900 block of Casa Rosa Avenue, and Marcus Torez McCord, 18, of the 100 block of Cyndee Circle, all of Martinez, and a 16-year-old boy from Augusta are charged with kidnapping, auto theft and burglary, said Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris.
On Thursday, Augusta District Attorney Danny Craig identified the 16-year-old as Daniel Joseph Newton. Mr. Craig said it is likely that all four would face murder charges in South Carolina.
The four teens, who were arrested Tuesday at a residence on Warren Road in Augusta, were being held without bond in the Columbia County Detention Center.
Murray had been missing since Monday when his burning Mercedes was found on a logging road in Sumter National Forest in South Carolina, police said. Murray was burned alive in the trunk, according to a report from the Edgefield County Coroner's Office.
Police said Patton is the stepson of Murray. Morris said Patton is currently AWOL from the military and Fort Gordon had a hold on him.
Murray divorced Patton's mother in 2000. According to divorce documents, Murray accused Jacquelyn W. Patton-Murray of abusing him on various occasions, including a September 1998 incident that led him to file for divorce. In an August 1998 Columbia County sheriff's report, Patton-Murray is accused of striking Murray with a crystal candy dish, sending him to Doctors Hospital with a cut on his head.
Patton-Murray also accused Murray of physical abuse. She filed for a restraining order against him in her October 1998 response to his divorce petition. At the time, Murray had obtained a restraining order against Patton-Murray, her son and her daughter-in-law.
The couple married in November 1997 and separated 10 months later. The divorce was finalized in March 2000. Reports in the case file list Patton-Murray, her son Don Demonico Dewan Patton and his wife, Tavada Zimmerman Patton, as divorce defendants.
The case file includes mention of several confrontations, including an accusation against the then-13-year-old Shannon Devon Patton: On Sept. 16, 1998, the boy allegedly grabbed and hit Murray. His mother said the boy was pulling Murray off of her. Two days later, Murray filed for divorce.
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