Coroner to discuss case of dead James Island woman Friday

(Jenny Sanborn/WCIV)

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCIV) -- Charleston County Sheriff's deputies investigated a home on James Island after a woman was found dead.

According to sheriff's officials, Charleston City Police responded to a Howle Avenue home after a boy, 10, ran there from his grandmother's house. They were responding to reports of a stabbing.

The boy ran from his home to neighbor Lyndsay Gianoli's home, she said. He was bloody when he showed up at her door, she said.

"I got a knock on the door, a pretty harsh, frantic knock," Gianoli said.

Charleston County authorities released the 911 call made by Gianoli.

"A little boy who lives across the street came over and he said his grandmother was trying to kill him," Gianoli told a 911 operator. "He's cut on his neck and his wrists. He's covered in blood. His neck is bad. I'm worried about the wrists. She sliced it sideways."

She also told the operator the boy had thrown a knife on his way over to her home.

"He said he got one knife from her and he threw it in the ditch," she said.

The coroner's office identified the woman as 58-year-old Paula O'Neal. An autopsy was planned for Thursday afternoon, but a cause of death has not yet been released.

"I've seen her. She walks her dogs down the street about every day. I've talked to her once or twice. I didn't know her personally or her husband. [The boy] had just played with our children," Gianoli said.

Coroner's officials said a press conference would be held Friday morning to discuss the case.

Deputies were called in because the grandmother's home is in their jurisdiction.

Charleston Police Department officers told deputies that the boy and his grandmother got into a fight and the child "introduced a knife" during the altercation. The boy and his grandmother were the only people in the home, deputies said.

Investigators said they then found the woman deceased inside her home, and the boy was treated at the hospital for injuries he sustained during the altercation.

On Thursday, county officials released a recording of the 911 call placed by the neighbor.

According to the 911 call, the neighbor told dispatchers that the child said his grandmother was trying to kill him. She said he had cuts to his neck and wrist.

In the recording, the boy also told the neighbor he took the knife away from his grandmother and threw it in a ditch.