BY MÉLANIE SMITH
Sumter County Sheriff’s Office deputies are investigating the discovery of the body of a Columbia man in a car in a state forest in Sumter County.
Gregory Scott Abbott, 55, was found dead inside a vehicle in Manchester State Forest at Wedgefield on the night of July 22, according to Adrienne Sarvis, chief information officer at the Sheriff’s Office.
Officers from the National Forestry Commission informed Sumter’s office of the location of the body, and deputies and the Sumter County coroner’s office responded to the scene.
Investigators have yet to determine what caused Abbott’s death, and the investigation has been active since the night he was found, the statement said.
An autopsy was performed on Tuesday and Abbott’s next of kin were told of his death.
Manchester State Forest spans over 28,000 acres in Sumter and Clarendon counties and is adjacent to Poinsett State Park. The forest is open to the public with miles of trails and includes part of the Wateree Passage along the Palmetto Trail, according to www.state.sc.us.
The forest is owned by the State Forestry Commission and is managed by the commission in partnership with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.