Neighbors still in shock after man admits to killing wife before - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Neighbors still in shock after man admits to killing wife before he reported her missing

WEST COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Two West Columbia men are still behind bars, charged with murder after police say they killed and buried a family member before reporting her as missing.

On Linnet Drive neighbors are still shocked about the events of this week.

"I talk to people two or three blocks from here, and they just don't believe it," said neighbor Robert Werts.

Werts said he is still stunned.

His two neighbors, Marion Wilkes and son Joseph Wilkes are behind bars charged with murdering wife and mother Susan Wilkes.

"It's hard for me to believe," Werts said. "I just don't know how to feel about it."

Last Saturday, West Columbia police said Marion Wilkes reported his wife as missing.

A day before that, Werts said Wilkes approached him.

"He told me Friday afternoon that she had not returned home from her Thursday morning walk," Werts said. "I called my neighbor across the street, and she said call Bill Banning, because he's on the county council."

"Well, I didn't immediately do anything but try to check with some other neighbors, and then the next morning I called Chief Tyndall to ask him about it, and his response was he didn't know anything about it," said Lexington County Councilman Bill Banning. "There was no missing person report."

But on Saturday police say Wilkes finally did contact them and then there was his interview last Sunday that aired on WIS. The interview, police say, was all an act and it put him under suspicion.

"First thing I'd do is call police or have everybody in this neighborhood out hunting her, and he obviously didn't do that," Banning said.

On Wednesday, Marion and his son were arrested for murder, the next day Marion admitted to the crime in a bond hearing.

"They need to pay for it," said neighbor Daryl Evans. "They need to pay for the crime."

Evans said he knew Marion and had met Susan too.

"She was very nice," Evans said. "The only time I ever met her she was fantastic. A very nice lady."

Both neighbors say they knew Marion Wilkes to be a nice guy and they did not expect this.

Police believe family fighting may have led to the murder.

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

Police say they do not expect any other major charges in the case.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

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