Missing woman's body found; husband admits to murder in court

Marion Wilkes
Marion Wilkes
(Source: West Columbia Police Department)
(Source: West Columbia Police Department)

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The husband of a West Columbia woman whose body was found in the Little Mountain community following her disappearance last week told a judge Thursday he is guilty and doesn't want a lawyer.

Marion Wilkes, 73, and his son, Joseph Cody Wilkes, 23, are in custody and charged with murder in connection with the death of 59-year-old Susan Wilkes.

West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall said Thursday morning Wilkes' body was found on a two-acre plot of land on Gardenia Court in Little Mountain.

Tyndall said information obtained during interviews with Marion and Cody Wilkes led investigators to Wilkes' body late Wednesday afternoon.

Police said the two kept Wilkes' body in their garage for several days after her murder.

"They did lead us to the body," said Tyndall. "They told us how she was wrapped."

Tyndall indicated a motive for the killing could have been family in-fighting over finances.

In court, Marion Wilkes admitted to killing his wife during his first appearance.

"I'm pleading guilty," Wilkes said. "I don't need a trial or any lawyer."

Over the weekend, Wilkes sat down with WIS to describe his concern for his wife. Tyndall said that interview placed him under suspicion.

"You can see right off the bat there were inconsistencies in the timeline," Tyndall said. "That's called a red flag in our business. As we spoke to them, the conversation got stranger and stranger."

Watch the interview here: http://shout.lt/v4Gs

An autopsy revealed Wilkes died from blood loss due to a stab wound to the chest.

Susan Wilkes was reportedly last seen during a routine walk on June 12 in the Westover Acres subdivision.

More charges are possible. Police believe there may have been some others who knew about the murder. Nobody else in the immediate family is under investigation, Tyndall said.

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to contact the West Columbia Police Department at 803-794-0721 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.