Cause of death still pending for 2 found dead in hot tub

Published: Sep. 27, 2013 at 10:33 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:26 PM EDT
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EDISTO BEACH, SC (WCSC) - The Colleton County Coroner's Office has completed autopsies on the elderly victims found dead in a hot tub in Edisto Beach last week.

Coroner Richard Harvey said Monday preliminary autopsies were completed for 80-year-old Ruth Elizabeth Ellis, of Michigan, and 78-year-old Raymond Trewhella, of Columbia.

Harvey said it could take four weeks to determine an official cause of death.

Authorities say Ellis was visiting the beach for her grandson's wedding on Saturday. She and Trewhella were found dead in a hot tub just before 9 a.m. Friday, according to an incident report by the Edisto Beach police. The bodies of the two were discovered in the hot tub on the back deck of the home at 3416 Palmetto Boulevard.

Police Chief Bill Coffey said the deaths were not considered suspicious, and called the situation "a tragedy."

The investigation is ongoing.

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