Sheriff: Man found dead in Newberry was killed in Whitmire

Published: Apr. 11, 2016 at 1:15 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 13, 2016 at 11:07 AM EDT
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NEWBERRY COUNTY, SC (WIS) - The Newberry County Coroner's Office has identified the man whose body was found near Highway 176 on Monday morning.

Coroner Craig Newton says 62-year-old Jesse O. Sanders of Whitmire died from multiple gunshot wounds and his death has been ruled a homicide.

The Sheriff's Office says Sanders' body was found near Molly's Rock Picnic Area.

RELATED: See photos from the scene where the body was located.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said in a statement that the incident leading to Sanders' death began at the 62-year-old's home on Byrd Street in Whitmire, where investigators found signs of a struggle throughout the home.

Foster said it appears Sanders was shot multiple times at his home and then dumped in the area where his body was discovered.

Sanders' family and friends say he touched many lives. As a funeral home owner in Clinton, we're told, God and his family was the center of his life. His friend of 25 years, Stanley Rice, said his world stopped when he received the news.

"You couldn't meet a nicer person," Rice said. "In order to love Jesse, you had to know Jesse. He was just the kind of person he would go to bat for you. He would give you the shirt off is back, it's nothing he wouldn't do for you."

Investigators closed US 176 between Mt. Bethel Garmany Road and SC 121/Brazelman's Bridge Road while they looked for evidence.

Foster says there are no descriptions of a suspect at this time, but believe there are witnesses.

If you have any information about this incident, you are urged to contact Crimestoppers in any of the following ways: Call 1-888-CRIME SC (888-274-6372), Text TIPSC plus your tip info to CRIMES (274637), visit www.midlandscrimestoppers.com and email 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.

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