Neighbors react after man reportedly beaten to death retrieving newspaper outside home

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Neighbors in a Lexington subdivision are looking for answers in the death of a neighbor reportedly beaten after walking outside to get the newspaper in the early hours of March 23.

The Lexington County Sheriff's Department said the man, in his late 60s, died Monday as a result of those injuries.

According to the police report, the victim suffered broken ribs, a wound to the back of his head that required three staples, a fractured eye socket, and possible internal injuries. The report goes on to say doctors found blood in the victim's stomach during a CT scan.

The report states the victim's wife told officers she and her husband woke up at 5:30 a.m. and her husband is usually the one to make breakfast. She stated she went into the kitchen and could not find her husband.

When she went outside to check for him, she told officers she saw a pool of blood on her driveway and looked into the road and saw a body lying near the mailbox of a neighbor's home. Upon realizing it was her husband, she ran to a neighbor's for help, who then called 911.

Investigators also spoke with the neighbor who called 911 after answering the door to find the victim's wife asking for help. He said he did not hear any sounds before the knocking on his door.

Neighbors in the Cobbs Hill subdivision said they don't understand why the victim would have been a target.

"This is a very nice neighborhood and people here get along and are nice to each other," area resident Denis Yongue said. "He and I would talk sometimes, usually talking about what was going on the neighborhood and what we needed to do to keep our neighborhood safe and clean."

Anytime he would wave to the victim, Yongue said he would wave right back, often in the yard doing yard work or other tasks around the house.

"I don't understand what happened to him and why he was a target," he said. "My wish is whoever did this, it would be better for this person to step forward and turn themselves in."

Yongue said he and his family feel safe despite what happened, as do many other neighbors who live nearby.

The Lexington County Sheriff's Department said an investigation into the victim's death is ongoing and encourages people to always be aware of their surroundings, even if they are in their own yard or driveway. It also said it has not received reports of any similar incidents since this occurred.

The county coroner said an autopsy was completed on Tuesday, however, she is not releasing the name of the victim at this time. Coroner Margaret Fisher said the name may be released later this week, depending on whether autopsy findings indicate that the death was the result of unnatural circumstances.

The sheriff's department has not identified a suspect or person of interest in connection to the beating. If you have any information, you're encouraged to call Crimestoppers.

Anyone with any information about this incident is urged by authorities to contact Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or visiting www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and emailing a tip. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

Copyright 2018 WIS. All rights reserved.