West Ashley man finds neighbor dead

By Ava Wilhite

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- Activity outside an apartment building on Royal Palm Boulevard has returned to normal after what one neighbor calls a strange series of events.

"She never went anywhere without that dog and it was strange to see the dog just running loose all day and over night and the next day," said Herb Leap, who also lives in the{} building.

Leap said the loose dog belonged to Kathy Hawkins who lived in one of the units.

"I didn't think anything about it until the front office called me and wanted me to go check and see about the dog. That's when I found her,"Leap said.

Leap said he walked upstairs from his first floor apartment to Hawkins' door, which was unlocked. He found Hawkins' dead body on the floor and then called the police.

"I can't explain that - I can't explain how I feel about that. I'm sorry I'm the one that had to find her like that and I'm sorry that she's gone like that," he said. {}

Leap said he and Hawkins were friendly. At most he said they would exchange greetings when she walked her dog. He said the accused murderer, her boyfriend David Reagan, is not as friendly.

"He was strange. Every time I seen him he was intoxicated," he said. "Other than that I didn't have a lot to do with him."

Leap said he knew abuse was going on and felt like he couldn't stop it so he didn't get involved.{}

He said Hawkins' ex-husband was notified to come and take her dog.