Missing NC woman found dead in ravine, man faces murder charge

North Carolina news

GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office officials said a man is being held for murder after a woman’s body was found in a ravine behind a home in Gaffney Thursday night.

According to a sheriff’s office news release, the murder investigation is underway at a home on Union Highway.

Sheriff’s Office officials said investigators started assisting Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department investigators Thursday in regard to a missing person report filed from that jurisdiction several days earlier.

According to the release, Cherokee County investigators spent most of the day following up on leads and looking for a vehicle associated with the missing person with air support from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

Marshall Depree Lee in a photo from WSPA

At around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Cherokee County investigators were able to obtain a search warrant for a home and property on Union Highway in Gaffney.

Sheriff’s Office investigators and deputies executed the search warrant and found an unidentified woman’s body that was decomposing in a ravine behind the home.

The suspect — Marshall Depree Lee, 42, of Gaffney — was taken into custody following an interview with investigators, officials said. Cherokee County Sheriff Steve Mueller told WSPA that Lee confessed to being involved in the woman’s death, and the crime happened at his home.

Lee was taken to the Cherokee County Detention Center and is currently being held for murder. More charges are possible, Mueller said.

According to the release, investigators are awaiting an autopsy and positive identification from Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler.

Fowler said that investigators notified him about the discovery of the body around 8:50 p.m. Thursday and said the body was found approximately 50 yards behind the home.

He said it appears that the body had been there for several days due to the condition of the body.

Cherokee County investigators could not confirm that the body they found was the missing woman from Charlotte, because it had decomposed so much, but the sheriff told WSPA they found the missing woman’s car not far from Lee’s home.

“This was not a random act of violence,” Sheriff Steve Mueller said. “This was something that was orchestrated by two people who were communicating together.”

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