Deputies arrest two people in connection to murder of missing man whose remains were found in the woods

Source: Live 5
Published: Aug. 25, 2021 at 5:14 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Lowcountry investigators have announced the arrest of two people in connection to the murder of a missing man whose remains were found in the woods.

Officials with the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office have charged 21-year-old Eric Wade Hempel of Georgetown with murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Shelby Francis Makaley Ashby, 21, also of Georgetown was also charged with accessory to murder after the fact. Authorities say Ashby helped Hempel move and dispose of 35-year-old Harry Barkley’s remains which were found in a wooded area in Williamsburg County.

Hempel was placed into custody following a high-speed police chase in Tennessee where he awaits extradition back to South Carolina.

Both were arrested after GCSO officials said DNA evidence from the crime scene confirmed it was the remains of Harry Barkley.

“GCSO investigators immediately obtained arrest warrants, charging two individuals in connection to the crime,” the sheriff’s office said.

The investigation began in August of 2020 when Barkley’s family members reported him missing to the Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office and the Williamsburg County Sheriff’s Office. In September of 2020, investigators said Barkley’s vehicle was discovered dumped in the Black River at Chavis Landing.

Then in May of 2021, human remains believed to have been those of Barkley were located in a remote wooded area of Williamsburg County.

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