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South Carolina authorities have discovered the body of a missing 28-year-old woman who had been beaten to death and shoved into a plastic tub.
Authorities discovered Celia Sweeney’s body outside the Inman home of Buddy Carr, a person of interest in the case who had been spending time with Sweeney shortly before she disappeared. Carr was also found dead inside the home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to a police report from the Charleston Police Department obtained by Oxygen.com.
Authorities were first called to Sweeney’s apartment on Friday night after her boyfriend Patrick Stanborough had entered the apartment to look for her and discovered a “significant amount of blood” inside the apartment but no sign of Sweeney.
Stanborough had driven to his girlfriend’s Charleston apartment from his home in Lexington, South Carolina after he had been unable to reach her on her phone or through text message all day.
Police obtained a search warrant for the apartment and determined through analysis of the scene that “someone had likely sustained fatal injuries” due to the “significant amount of blood throughout the apartment,” signs of a struggle and bloody footprints. A single fired cartridge casing was also found in the living room, according to the report.
While canvassing the area, police discovered that Gina Scialdone, a friend who lived in an adjacent building, had been out the previous night with Sweeney and two men, who were identified as Carr and Mark Walton.
The group had gone to multiple restaurants and bars and spent time in Sweeney’s apartment.
Carr, Walton and Sweeney returned to her apartment in the early morning hours on Friday, but Scialdone was no longer with the group, according to the report.
Walton was allegedly “in and out” of the apartment over the next two hours and Sweeney was reportedly frustrated that she had been left alone with Carr.
In her final text message sent just before 3 a.m., she “indicated that she would attempt to remove Carr from her apartment,” the report said. The recipient of the text wasn't identified in the report.
Multiple calls were made to Sweeney’s phone after this point in time, but none of them were answered, police said.
Sweeney’s missing Audi S5 was later found about a half mile away from her apartment. Witnesses in the area described the car being driven by an “unknown party” around 6 a.m. with a white Ford F-150 following behind.
Witnesses saw the driver get out of the Audi and get into the truck before the truck drove off, the report said. Authorities later found images of the truck on traffic surveillance cameras that showed a “large black container” in the bed of the pickup.
Detectives were able to identify Carr as the owner of the truck and requested the Spartansburg County Sheriff’s Office attempt to make contact with him at his home in Inman, South Carolina.
Authorities were unable to reach Carr and secured a search warrant for his property.
They discovered the large back container with Sweeney’s body near the woods, about 20 yards away from Carr’s truck, according to the report.
She had suffered “significant blunt force trauma to her head which likely resulted in her immediate death,” the report said.
Once inside the home, they discovered Carr’s body. He had died from “an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound,” police said in the report.
Investigators also discovered a claw hammer, apparently covered in blood, latex gloves, concrete bags and camouflage nylon strips in the bed of his truck. They were able to link him to the purchase of some of the items after finding receipts from two separate Home Depot trips inside the home.
Surveillance footage also captured Carr and another male, who authorities have identified as Walton, inside a Home Depot purchasing some of the items on Friday.
Walton is now facing charges of accessory after the fact of murder in Sweeney’s death.
“The products purchased by Carr in which Walton was knowingly present for are unreasonable and suspicious, considering the manner in which Sweeney’s body was discovered,” the police report said. “Based on the fact that Walton was present at the time these items were purchased and the fact that these items were directly used in the concealment and disposal of Sweeney’s body, probable cause is established to charge Walton with Accessory After the Fact of Murder.
Walton is being held at the Charleston County Detention Center, local station WCIV reports.
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