A missing Cherryvale woman is now believed to be a victim of homicide after her body was found in the woods on Thursday, buried in a shallow, muddy grave and died of an apparent gunshot wound.
The body of Suzette Ginther, 27, was discovered by a hunter in the Manchester National Forest near Camp Burnt Gin southwest of Sumter just after 4 p.m. on November 16, deputy Ken Bell, head of public information from the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. The Summer Item at the scene on Friday.
The hunter – who was cleared as a suspect – had scoured the swampy, hilly woods the previous day to find places to set up hunting cameras, Bell said. When he returned on Thursday, he noticed a raised piece of dirt and leaves.
Ginther had been buried in a circular hole set back about 150 feet from the road that was no deeper than 18 inches.
She was reported missing earlier Thursday by her employer after failing to introduce yourself to PetSmart in Colombia.
“We suspect foul play and are treating it as a homicide,” Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis said in a news release.
Investigators from the Sumter County Coroner’s Office have determined the identity of the body. An autopsy should be performed to confirm the cause of death.
SLED participates in the investigation.