Human remains discovered where man disappeared two years ago - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Human remains discovered where man disappeared two years ago

Investigators confirm human remains were found in Fairfield County not far from where search crews found a wrecked car two years ago.

The remains were found Saturday morning by a crew that was trimming trees near a dirt road off of Hope Road.

Officials have not positively identified the remains, but they were found in close proximity to where 54-year-old William 'Billy' Pound disappeared in November 2010.

Investigators say Pound lost control of his car and it was found in a ditch in rural Fairfield County.

They found the car, but never found his body.

Over the weekend, the Fairfield County Sheriff's Office says the human remains were found about four miles from the crash scene were Billy's car was discovered.

Chief Deputy Keith Lewis said they're confident they will be able to match DNA from the remains to Pound. He did not believe a cause of death will be evident given the amount of time that has passed.

"We don't have any other reports of anybody missing in that area, and I reckon that is why we kind of feel comfortable that it could very well be Mr. Pound," said Lewis.

Pound's disappearance led to weeks of searching.

And an admission by then-head of the Department of Public Safety Mark Keel who said his department had failed to connect the car crash with the missing persons report filed in Lexington County.

"Obviously there's a breakdown from the standpoint of where the missing person report gets filed and the fact that we had filed an accident report," said Keel in a February 2011 interview.

Keel, now SLED chief, promised to change procedures to prevent future problems involving missing drivers.

As a result of the case, beginning in February 2011, the South Carolina Highway Patrol made procedural changes and established a number of safeguards to help locate missing persons that may have resulted from an abandoned vehicle.

"Internally, we have created procedures, including an abandoned vehicle checklist, that the trooper follows as well as several layers of checks and balances when processing a scene involving an abandoned vehicle," said SC Department of Public Safety spokesperson Sherri Iacobelli. "Additionally, we have reached out to sheriffs and police chiefs to provide a way to contact us in a missing persons' case so that we can query our database to determine if there are any matches between abandoned vehicles and missing persons."

Additionally, DPS worked with SCDMV to create an Emergency Contact Form that is associated with an individual's driver's license or identification card.

If you'd like to update your emergency information, click here to do so.

Meanwhile, Fairfield investigators now say it appears possible that after the accident, Pound could have walked east on the highway, then south to the area where the remains were located.

Billy's younger brother Charles says he was last seen alive at a Walgreens in Lexington, picking up toiletries for his elderly mother.

"I feel relieved to finally have some type of closure," said Charles. "Like I told my mom, we didn't lose him on Saturday. We lost him two years ago. But there is always that certain hope you hold on to but now we can begin to heal properly."

The sheriff's department is waiting on DNA tests that could conclusively identify the remains.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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