Coroner: Results pending for autopsy in Hanahan man's murder

Coroner: Results pending for autopsy in Hanahan man's murder
Roy Bennett (Source: Tim Bennett)
Roy Bennett (Source: Tim Bennett)
A 2009 booking photo from the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.
A 2009 booking photo from the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Coroner's Office says results are pending in the autopsy of a 71-year-old Hanahan man who was found dead on Sunday.

Coroner Bill Salisbury says he is awaiting toxicology test results before a final cause of death can be determined for Roy Bennett.  The Hanahan Police Department and the State Law Enforcement Division are investigating Bennett's death as a homicide.

Police say they were called to a Lombardi Lane home just before 1 p.m. after a neighbor found Bennett dead inside.

"Who kills a 71-year-old man?...He was a quiet, private guy," said Bennett's son, Tim."I originally heard that they found him in bed and I was just hoping that he died in his sleep. Found out that he was murdered instead."

Hanahan police are asking the community to watch out for a 2009 silver Toyota Tacoma pickup. The license plate number reads "CBP-692".

Police say the pick-up belonged to Bennett. They believe the vehicle was taken between 9 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sunday.

On Monday, Lieutenant Michael Fowler said he believes Bennett's killer knew the victim.  He said there were no signs of forced entry into the home and no signs of a struggle inside, either.

"We're going under the theory that it was someone known to him," Fowler said. "We feel if we find that truck, at least it will narrow down and point us to one or two directions."

SLED has joined the investigation as a result of previous charges filed against the victim.  In 2009, Bennett was charged by SLED with second degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

Investigators with SLED said Bennett had visual materials depicting minors engaged in sexual activity on a computer at his home. Bennett was further accused of downloading and disseminating these  pornographic images through the use of the Internet.

That 2009 charge was still pending, according to court records.

"His past has come up in the investigation, but we don't know concretely if there's any connection between that and what happened yesterday," Fowler said. "The manner in which he was found was definitely not natural...I do not believe it to be the work of one person."

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