Police: Upstate man killed mom, dumped body in trash can

Brandon Knuckles (Source: Gaffney Police Dept.)
Brandon Knuckles (Source: Gaffney Police Dept.)

GAFFNEY, SC (FOX CAROLINA) - A Gaffney woman whose body was found in a trash can over the weekend was beaten and strangled by her son, according to Gaffney police.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said the body of 78-year-old Marjorie Knuckles was found inside a rolling trash can outside her Hetty Hill Street home about 9:40 a.m. Sunday after one of Knuckles' friends came by to check on her.

When the friend went to take out the trash, she discovered the city-issued cart had been moved from the back porch area to behind a small storage building in the backyard, Fowler said. He said when she opened the can to put the trash inside, she found Knuckles' body inside.

"It appears Mrs. Knuckles had been dead for several days," Fowler said.

On Monday, Knuckles' son, 44-year-old Brandon, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle. Police said they found Brandon in possession of his mother's car Monday morning at a local motel. They said the car had been reported missing Saturday evening.

On Tuesday, police said Brandon Knuckles admitted to killing his mother after having a heated argument with her. Police charged him with murder, financial transaction card theft and multiple counts of financial transaction card fraud.

"The nature of this crime is heinous, from what was done with her body, it was something we wanted to get as much information as we can," Gaffney Police Chief Richard Turner said Monday.

Marjorie Knuckles' family continues to mourn her loss, including her cousin Marianetta Smith.

"I remember Marjorie as a loving family person who loved her family and community," Smith told FOX Carolina on Monday.

Smith said Marjorie Knuckles was a retired teacher from Anderson County whose husband was a Gaffney police officer at one time. She said her cousin and son have gone through difficult times, but despite the troubles, she loved her son.

"We'll always remember her beautiful smile, her polite demeanor she always displayed at all times," said Pastor C.A. Wallace said Sunday. "She was just a beautiful person on the inside and outside."

Friends and family said they hadn't spoken to Brandon Knuckles for several days, but did say he was a troubled individual, whom his mother had tried to help.

"She bent over backwards in a lot of ways but he had some issues that we tried to help him with," said Wallace. "I guess it got the best of him."

It is not yet known when Knuckles will have a bond hearing on the additional charges. Police said the investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call Gaffney police.

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