Woman was dead in South Carolina department store for four days before her body was found, police say – USA Today
A woman’s body went unnoticed for four days in a Columbia, South Carolina, department store. During this time, the store was open for business, and no one noticed the body. The woman died in the public bathroom of a department store, according to police.
Deputy Police Chief Melron Kelly of the Columbia Police Department told reporters that the woman was found dead in a bathroom stall at the Belk department store in Columbiana Centre, a mall in the northwest neighborhood.
She was found locked inside a single-stall bathroom with the door locked.
The woman has been identified as Bessie Durham, 63. Her body was found inside the store’s family bathroom shortly after 8 p.m. Monday.
Family members reported their mother missing to police on Monday, Kelly said. They last saw their mother on September 15 as she headed to work at the store. The body of the woman was found soon after her family reported her missing.
According to the Lexington County Coroner’s Office, the autopsy revealed no foul play. She died on September 15, the day she went missing, of natural causes, according to County Coroner Margaret Fisher.
Durham provided housekeeping services through a contract cleaning service, according to Belk spokesperson Jessica Rohlik.
In his remarks, Rohlik expressed deep condolences to the Durham family. “First and foremost, we extend our sincere condolences to the family of Bessie Durham, who was found dead in Columbiana Centre’s family bathroom.” In the meantime, counselors have been available to assist associates seeking support. We are currently attempting to piece together what happened.
A short period of closure occurred during the investigation of the crime scene, but the business is now open again.
For more coverage on this story, see the additonal news sources below:
- Woman was dead in South Carolina department store for four days before her body was found, police say – USA Today
- Lexington coroner releases new details regarding woman who died in Belk restroom – WLTX
- Funeral arrangements made for woman found dead in Columbiana Centre Belk bathroom – WLOS
- Missing South Carolina Woman Found Dead In Shopping Mall Bathroom – BE
- Woman found dead in bathroom of Columbiana Centre department store has been identified Fox 57