Sheriff: South Carolina man kept dead dad’s body in closet, cashed checks for drugs

State - Regional

CHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) -– The body of a 75-year-old man was found inside his rural South Carolina trailer stuffed in a closet. Authorities say his own son kept him there for nearly a month.

The body of Clyde Shirley was found on Sunday. His son, William Shirley, is now behind bars.

“Cases like this are always hard for our people to work,” said Chester County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Grant Suskin. “It’s always hard for the community to have to hear about these kind of things. And they’re especially hard for the family that has to deal with something like that.”

William lived with his father, who was in poor health, and relied on his son for care.

“He was absolutely dependent on his son for day-to-day caretaking,” said Suksin. “I’m not sure all the details of his condition but I do know he heavily relied on him to take care of him.”

But investigators say William failed to provide even basic care for his father and didn’t take him to medical appointments.

William is charged with abuse and willful neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death.

He never notified anyone his father had died, authorities said. Instead, he put his dad’s dead body in a closet and continued to cash his Social Security checks to pay for his drug habit.

The motive shocked season investigators.

“Very shocking incident to have occurred here in Chester County,” said Suskin. “We’re just devastated to hear something like this would have happened.”

Crime scene tape is still present outside the rural home on Boyd Road. It was a family friend who tipped off authorities. A 911 call was made but is not being released.

There are no records of any prior calls for service to the home and no prior arrest records for William, according to Suskin.

William is being held at the Chetser County Detention Center on $25,000 bond.

If convicted, he faces up to 35 years in prison.

“Our hearts go out to the family at this time,” said Suskin, who told FOX 46 getting justice for them is important. “We know it’s really tough for them.”

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