HANAHAN, SC (WCSC) - The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating after a Hanahan woman who had been missing for more than a week was found dead in her car.
Kelly Kenney, 23, was found dead in her vehicle in North Charleston Monday, Charleston County Deputy Coroner Kelly Kraus confirmed.
Her family released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying Kenney had been recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was getting help. They thanked the community and law enforcement for their efforts to search for her.
Kenney's car was found at an apartment complex on Stall Road Friday, according to Hanahan Deputy Police Chief Michael Fowler. Fowler said the car was towed as an abandoned car.
He said the apartment complex manager saw the news about Kenney's disappearance, recognized the license tag, and went to police and told them where the car had been towed. Police then got a warrant to search the car and found Kenney dead on the floorboard in front of the back seat on Monday, Fowler said.
SLED was called in to investigate the death, a request SLED spokesman Thom Berry said is not unusual since the case involves multiple jurisdictions. Berry could not provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.
Kenney was driving a 2015 white in color Subaru Imprezza with the license plate SQRRLS, according to her family.
Kenney was last seen on Feb. 28 at the Recovery Room Tavern on King Street, they say, but her cell phone was last pinged off of Highway 17 near Shem Creek.
Kenney's family released the following statement:
Kelly was a beautiful young lady. She was a daughter, a sister, and a granddaughter.
Kelly was an aspiring chef and had moved to Charleston to pursue her dream.
Kelly was recently diagnosed as Bipolar and had entered sobriety. She had been embraced by the Greater Charleston AA community and their assistance in trying to find our girl was immeasurable.
We would like to thank everyone who shared our Facebook posts and who searched for her. A special thanks to the Hanahan Police Dept and SLED for their continuing support and investigation.
Kelly is a light who shone brightly and our world is darker.
Her loving family,
Katie, Carl and Casey Kenney
The investigation started on March 2 after officers responded to Kenney's apartment multiple times for a welfare check.
Kelly's mother had contacted the Hanahan Police Department and requested that they contact her daughter since she wasn't able to reach her since Feb. 17. At the time she was reported missing, her family told investigators Kenny had drug and alcohol problems and a history of suicide attempts, an incident report states.
A police report states each time officers went to the apartment they found no sign of her.
The investigation showed that Kenney had not spoken to anyone and had not posted anything to Facebook since Feb. 17, and had taken several medications for bipolar disorder.
Officers also went inside her apartment and reported finding no signs of a struggle happening inside the apartment.
A resident of the apartment complex where Kenney's car was located said she was surprised by the news of the discovery.
"Pretty much everyone knows each other and yeah I was very surprised," Thionna Glover said. "It's a tragedy regardless how the life was taken. It's a tragedy."
Investigators hope an autopsy will reveal the cause and manner of Kenney's death.