COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — A Belk store in Columbia is being sued after one of its employees died in the bathroom and wasn’t found until days later.
7NEWS previously reported Bessie Durham, who worked for an outside company that cleans the Belk store at Columbiana Centre, was found dead in September 2022.
Durham had not been seen for four days and her body was found shortly after her family had filed a missing persons report.
Durham’s family is now filing a lawsuit alleging that Belk neglected to inspect its bathrooms, leaving her body unrecovered.
Investigators said her cleaning cart had been parked outside of the restroom the entire time.
“They didn’t ask if Bessie [was] doing okay. They didn’t ask why hasn’t this cart moved in four days, they didn’t ask that question,” Attorney Chris Hart said. “They asked why was the bathrooms not being clean?”
The family also said the store had a policy enacted after a shooting at the mall earlier in 2022 that the door be locked, further exacerbating the problem.