DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - The Dorchester County Coroner’s Office says a Summerville woman who was found in the woods died from a gunshot to the head.
Coroner Paul J. Brouthers said the cause of death for Karen Simmons Yarborough is homicide. Officials with the Dorchester County Sheriff’s office said Yarborough’s body was found near Beidler Forest along Harrison Road on Tuesday.
The victim’s husband, 64-year-old James “Stan” Yarborough, has been charged in her death.
He faces charges of murder, possession of a weapon during a violent crime and obstruction of justice, according to Summerville Police Lt. Shaun Tumbleston.
The investigation began on Tuesday when police responded to the Yarborough home to investigate Karen Yarborough’s disappearance.
According to the investigative report, Stan Yarborough said he and his wife had been home on Monday night. He told police that at approximately 8 p.m. that evening, he said he was going to bed for the night and that his wife said she was going to go for a walk, something he said was “normal behavior.”
He said his wife had recently been depressed about a recent death and about an illness of a close family friend, the incident report states.
Police say they noticed a red stain on the bottom of his shirt near each of his armpits and asked what the stain was from. He said he must have gotten blood on his shirt because he was on blood thinners, the report states.
The report states officers found a single, unknown caliber bullet on the floor of their bedroom near the dresser with no shell casing nearby. Yarborough told police he did not have any firearms and did not know why the bullet would be there.
Police also found “fresh damage” to Yarborough’s vehicles and broken flower pots and a wheelbarrow outside the home, the report states.
He told police he only knew of damage to the vehicles that his wife told him about on Monday.