Sheriff: Man charged with murder after kids find body in wooded - - Columbia, South Carolina

Sheriff: Man charged with murder after kids find body in wooded area


Deputies in Lancaster have charged a man with murder after children found a body while playing in the woods last week.

According to the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office, deputies were called to a wooded area around Mullis Circle and Wade Street on Saturday just before 1 p.m.

Deputies say a group of children playing in the woods found a "badly decomposed" body in the woods. 

Investigators say the body was identified as 33-year-old Rickey W. James, of Wallace.

According to investigators, James went into the woods with 24-year-old David Adam Pate five weeks ago. While they were there, investigators say Pate killed James and concealed his body under a pile of brush. 

Pate was charged with Murder Friday morning and is being held in the Lancaster County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.  He was arrested nearly two weeks ago for disorderly conduct on and has been jailed since on that charge.

The Sheriff's Office has not determined a motive for the murder in the case. 

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. James.  We are thankful that we were able to solve this case so quickly, Sheriff Barry Faile said. "Our investigators did a great job putting this case together.  We suspected Pate almost immediately but had to wait on lab results to prove it.  We are thankful he is in jail where he belongs."

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