Missing Hampton County man found

Source: Hampton Co. Sheriff's Office
Source: Hampton Co. Sheriff's Office

HAMPTON CO., SC (WTOC) - A missing Hampton County, S.C., man has been found and is in custody at the Hampton County Detention Center receiving a mental evaluation and a debriefing from detectives, according to Hampton County Sheriff T.C. Smalls.

At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, deputies found Benjamin Cook, 51, alive in his yard and he was not combative when they found him, according to the Hampton County Sheriff's Office. Cook was reported missing on Monday. Cook was checked out by EMS and released to authorities.

Cook told deputies he had been hiding in the woods for two days behind Harry's Stop and Shop, which is about a mile from his home.

Smalls said the sheriff's office got tips that Cook had been spotted at local stores at night, which prompted an operation to be set up for Wednesday night to try to  apprehend him.

Smalls said that Cook has had other occasions in which he has dealt with the sheriff's office, including family issues and traffic violations. He has a history of mental illness, according to the sheriff's office.

It isn't yet known why Cook hid in the woods.

Cook didn't appear to have any injuries, so they don't know yet where the blood in his house came from. Authorities said it is human and it's being processed to determine if it is Cook's.

The sheriff said charges are pending and should be revealed Thursday.

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