Police: Former high school principal lied about wife’s disappearance in 911 call

VIDEO: Police: Former high school principal lied about wife’s disappearance in 911 call

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Summerville Police say a former Summerville High School principal killed his wife and then called 911 saying she disappeared.

Sixty-four year-old James Yarborough is charged with murder in the death of his wife, 63-year-old Karen Yarborough.

Dorchester County deputies found her body Tuesday near the Biedler Forest in Dorchester County.

Investigators say James Yarborough called 911 Tuesday morning and told the operator his wife went on her regular walk Monday night and never returned home.

“I was up sitting and I woke up this morning she was not here,” Yarborough is on the 911 call recording. Yarborough told the operator he rode through the area where his wife usually walks but couldn’t find her.

Police went to Yarborough’s house to interview him and they noticed his shirt had bloodstains. Yarborough told them it was an old shirt and that he takes blood thinners, according to an incident report.

Detectives found Karen Yarborough’s purse with her cell phone inside. They also found a stray bullet on the floor in the master bedroom, the incident report states.

Yarborough told detectives he did not own a gun.

His wife’s body was found Tuesday in a rural area of Dorchester County. The coroner said the body was a victim of an apparent homicide, but did not immediately release further details.

He was taken into custody and charged with murder, obstruction of justice and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Bill Blevins owns the Tastee Freeze restaurant across from Summerville High School where Yarborough was principal from 1994 through 1998.

Blevins says Yarborough used to come there on a regular basis. He was surprised to hear about his arrest.

“Seemed like super nice man, I don’t understand that,” Blevins said.

A judge denied bond for Yarborough on the murder charge Wednesday morning. Only a circuit judge can set bond for murder in South Carolina.

After serving as principal at Summerville High School, Yarborough then served as Dorchester District 2 Facilities Director from 1998 to 2002.

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