Elderly Berkeley Co. man murdered, body found in forest

By Nikki

BERKELEY CO, S.C. (WCIV) -- The coroner says a body found down Bonneau Road in the Francis Marion Forest is the victim of a homicide.

Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury says a man and his wife were traveling down the road Sunday afternoon when they found a body on the side of the roadway.

Salisbury identified the body as 79-year-old Artie Bradley of Moncks Corner.

"To me, it's shocking, you know, because I was close to him and he was close to me," said Betty Soles, the victim's niece. "He was friends with everyone. He like to go the Hardees in the mornings and meet up with buddies."

Soles last spoke to her uncle only a few days ago--never thinking it would be the last time she spoke to him by phone.

"He would call me and ask me why I hadn't called him, and I'd tell him I'll try to do better," said Soles. "He was friends with everybody."

After no one heard from Bradley on Friday afternoon, Soles says she and family decided to check on him inside this camper that he lived in on Highway 17A. The camper is located near the Macedonia community inside Hoods Trailer Park.

"We just wanted to find out where he was at," said Soles.

Bradley wasn't inside his home, and his family says they eventually called 9-1-1.

His body was eventually found about 15 minutes from his home on Sunday. How he got there and how he died is still the big mystery.

"We're not going to release any details on how he was killed because this is a very active, ongoing investigation and we have knowledge only the suspect would have," said Salisbury.

This still brings little comfort to a family in mourning, knowing whoever killed what many described as a "gentle soul" is still free.

"He didn't deserve this and they will find you," said Soles. "Justice will be served."

Deputies are asking for help in solving this crime. If you have any information on this case, you're asked to contact Crimestoppers. The number is 843-554-1111.

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