Man arrested in death of woman found in pond - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Man arrested in death of woman found in pond

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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A South Carolina man has been arrested and charged with murder in the death of a woman whose body was found in a Charleston County pond last month.

Charleston County deputies say they interviewed 21-year-old Jessie Murphy, Jr. after Katheryn Keener's murder. Thursday morning, they charged the Johns Island man with killing the 49-year-old woman.

With Keener's sister standing behind him, Sheriff Al Cannon said the case was cracked with the arrest of some men on unrelated charges.

"We began to interview them and the case broke with some of the information they provided, some of the evidence we were able to locate," the sheriff said.

Cannon said those people put Murphy at the crime scene with Keener in her car, and they told deputies he had a gun. Her burned-out vehicle was found on Bears Swamp Road on August 1. Five days later, Keener's body was found floating in the water not far from her SUV. An autopsy revealed she died from a gunshot wound to the head.

The sheriff says the victim and suspect knew each other.

"We suspect some of that relationship was based on drugs," he told reporters.

Keener's sister declined to talk about the arrest, but the victim's neighbors were glad to hear the news.

"Justice has been brought," said neighbor Brian Davis. "Until until the guy's found guilty, til he's gone to trial, you can't really comment. I'm glad he's been caught, let's put it that way."

"Super, glad to hear that, glad to hear that," echoed neighbor Ed New.

Investigators say they are far from finished. They want to find a motive for Keener's murder and the gun used to kill her to give the family some closure.

©2009 WCSC. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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