LADSON, S.C. – A body found in a shallow grave over the weekend is that of a volunteer constable who disappeared a week ago, officials said Monday. He had been shot several times.
Robert Lee Bailey, 67, died instantly after being shot, said Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten, who declined to say how many times he had been hit.
Bailey was last seen May 14 making a traffic stop in Lincolnville, 50 miles from where the grave was found near Interstate 26. Five people have been taken into custody since he vanished.
The grave was found Saturday after searchers returned to rural Orangeburg County using information from a woman charged in the case, who also is the girlfriend of another suspect, authorities said. It was found about 15 miles west of where the burned vehicle of a man being questioned in the case was discovered.
According to arrest affidavits, Bailey had just cleared a traffic stop and was on a street where two suspects lived when several shots sounded and radio contact was lost.
The shootings apparently occurred during a second traffic stop, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said.
When help arrived, Bailey was gone. His constable's cap, two pistols, several shell casings and a pool of his blood were found in the street and the yard of a small home on the street. His cruiser was found later about five miles away, burned.
Asia Prioleau, 22, was charged with murder Saturday, and her boyfriend, 24-year-old Walter Fayall III, who is in jail on an unrelated charge, will also be charged with murder, the sheriff said. Cannon said the two were in a car at the second stop.
Jail officials said Monday evening that they did not know whether Prioleau and Fayall had lawyers.
Three other people have been arrested.
Bailey was a retired Dorchester County deputy who had been a constable with Lincolnville for about five years.