Coroner reveals process of identifying missing Murrells Inlet man

Coroner reveals process of identifying missing Murrells Inlet man
Hubert Clodfelter was last seen in March

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) – Over the past several days, the mystery surrounding the death of a missing Murrells Inlet man has raised many questions from people in the community.

The Horry County Coroner’s Office announced on Wednesday that the remains found at the Myrtle Beach Travel Park on Friday are that of Hubert Clodfelter. It took the office six days to positively identify the body.

“In a situation like this, there are a few things you can do, one of which is fingerprints and it’s my understanding that his fingerprints are not good at all. The next thing we look for is dental records and that’s what we’re doing in this particular case,” Horry County Coroner Robert Edge said.

Hubert Clodfelter had been reported missing out of Georgetown County in March. His wife, Irene Clodfelter, is facing charges connected to his death.

According to arrest warrants, 74-year-old Irene Clodfelter found her husband dead under their beach home on May 28.

“The defendant, believing that her son was responsible for this crime, attempted to conceal this crime by wrapping the victim’s body in plastic and wrapping tape around the plastic,” the warrants state.

Irene Clodfelter allegedly left the victim under the porch and left the area, according to the warrants.

But it wasn’t until June 14 that Hubert Clodfelter’s daughter discovered his body while looking inside of a storage unit under a family-owned mobile home.

Many people have asked if a smell would have alerted neighbors to the Hubert Clodfelter’s body.

“Unless that plastic was sealed, the decomposition of odor would leak out. It may not be great sometimes, but just with the fluctuation of temperature from cold to hot, will make it expand and the gases will leak out,” Edge said. “The only thing I can think is maybe nobody walked real close around where he was at or maybe the wind was just blowing real hard and nobody smelled it.”

Edge also added that if they couldn’t identify him through dental records then the body would have been sent to the FBI Academy.

“They have a procedure where they put the hand skin under and they make those prints where they can read them and hopefully he’s registered in a database somewhere,” Edge said.

The coroner said that this investigation has a lot of puzzle pieces, none of which are similar to any other investigation he’s ever seen.

“It seems like they went through a lot of trouble, I don’t want to say trouble, but a lot of effort to put him somewhere. I don’t know if maybe they wanted him to be found later on,” Edge said. “If you don’t want someone to be found, I would take them to the woods.”

Irene Clodfelter was arrested Saturday and charged with two counts of obstruction of justice in Georgetown County.

In Horry County, Irene Clodfelter faces charges of desecration of human remains and accessory after the fact of murder. She was released from the J. Reuben Detention Center Monday on a $150,000 bond.

Copyright 2019 WMBF. All rights reserved.