Missing South Carolina woman's fiance seen leaving scene of her burned SUV, police say

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Authorities confirmed Tuesday that the death of a missing South Carolina woman's fiance was a suicide, and they revealed that he had been seen leaving the area where Dara Watson's sport-utility vehicle was found burning, WCBD-TV in Charleston reported.

In a news conference held by Mount Pleasant police, officials said witnesses identified fiance David Hedrick as leaving the scene with a shovel, according to the station.

Hedrick, 34, was found dead Friday of a gunshot wound, and Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten confirmed that the wound was self-inflicted.

Watson, 30, was last seen Feb. 6, when she left her parents' business in Boone, N.C., her mother told police. Authorities said in a press release that Watson's cellphone was last used around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Her boss also reported receiving a text message from Watson on Wednesday, "stating she was fine," according to police.

Her burned 2006 GMC Envoy was found abandoned in the Francis Marion Forest.

Her boss filed a missing person’s report on Friday after she failed to show up for work, according to local media reports, the same day Hedrick's body was found in Watson’s home.

Police are asking the public for further information on sightings of Watson's vehicle, as well as a white 2008 Mercedes.

Deputies on Monday received a tip about fresh digging about 10 miles from where the burned SUV was found. A forensics team sampling the dirt for any evidence, the station reported, though it doesn't appear to be connected to the disappearance.

Click here for more on this story from WCBD.