Family fears friend murdered elderly man in Berkeley Co. - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Family fears friend murdered elderly man in Berkeley Co.

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BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) -

The phone in Ellen Wright's home hasn't stopped ringing. Her family is planning a funeral for her 79-year-old brother. However Artie Bradley didn't die of natural causes, according to Berkeley County Deputies Bradley was murdered Sunday.

"Last time I talked to him he said, 'Now hunny, you know we have to stick together we're the only two left," said his sister Ellen Wright.

After getting a phone call and visit from deputies Sunday, Wright is now the last of her parents seven children.

Investigators told Wright they found Bradley's body along a dirt road less than two miles away from his home.

Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said a man and wife were traveling on a Francis Marion National Forest road around 3:30 p.m. Sunday when they found a body on the side of the road. 

Salisbury says foul play was involved in the death of Bradley.

Wright says some of her family members had to identify his remains because his body was so badly decomposed. According to his sister, a birth mark on his stomach and his belt buckle were they two items deputies used to make a positive ID.

"I just couldn't believe my brother had been killed," said Wright. "I could not believe it."

Bradley lived at Lot 13 of Hood's Trailer Park off of Highway 17a in the Moncks Corner/Bonneau area.

Neighbors say Bradley moved in from Walterboro last year.

Police tape is still hanging from the door of his recreational vehicle and his Saturn still parked outside. Neighbor Diane Wadford says his car was sitting in the same spot on Friday.

'I can't imagine any body murdering Artie Bradley," said Wadford. "It's just a total shock to me."

Wadford described Bradley as a quite man with a routine. She says he would also leave his home at 7:30 in the morning and always be back before dark. 

Bradley's sister believes the person(s) who killed him are friends and had a motive: money. 

"Everybody knows he carried money," said Wright. "He just pulled it out in front of him and would loan money for interest."

Wright says her brother had thousands of dollars on him at a time and even more money saved away.

"Whoever killed my brother knew all about his other money too and got to it," she said. "I'm afraid when we find out it's going to be someone that we know."

Salisbury said an autopsy was performed Monday and the preliminary results have been returned, however, the Sheriff's Office is not releasing his cause of death at this time.

Bradley's family will be saying goodbye to him in Walterboro Wednesday. His funeral is scheduled in the afternoon at Welch Creek Baptist Church according to his obituary.

The sheriff's office is asking for the public's help. Anyone who saw Bradley Friday afternoon or has any information is asked to call the sheriff's office at 843-719-4412 or 843-723-3800 ext. 4412 or can call Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111.

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