A Low Country missing persons case is now a murder investigation. It happened in Burton, in Beaufort County. Brett Kinney disappeared Sunday. Police found his body in some woods there yesterday morning. Now deputies have two people in custody for his murder.
Beaufort County sheriff's deputies were led to Kinney's body by one of the people they say is responsible for his death. Forty-one-year-old John Dykeman and 21-year-old Samantha Morgan-Major are charged with killing Kinney.
"The motive appears to be that they wanted the PIN number for his ATM card," said Lt. James Bukoffsky. "They had his ATM, and they wanted money for drugs. Both of them are known to use crack cocaine."
Bukoffsky says Dykeman and Morgan-Major beat and stabbed Kinney over two days, then dumped his body in the woods off of Still Shadow Drive in Burton, and when deputies caught up with them a few days later, they began pointing fingers.
"He admitted to being there and of course tried to put the blame on the other person, as did the female," said Bukoffsky. "We found out that she tried to do the same thing."
Kinney had spent the past 29 years recovering from a fall that left him brain damaged and the left side of his body paralyzed. His family says he was well loved and extremely popular in the neighborhood. "Just the last two and a half months we spent over $100,000 in trying to make him better physically, and these people wiped it out in a matter of however long it took them to do these horrible things they did to my brother," said Kinney's sister Marlene.
Marlene Kinney ended up being a big help in finding her brother's suspected murderers. She says that on Monday Morgan-Major actually showed up on her doorstep, to return Brett's cell phone and ATM card. "She said when she went back to give it back to him and he was gone," she said. "We all know that's not true. I got a good look at her and I hope to get a good look at her again tomorrow."
Morgan-Major and Dykeman have their bond hearing set for this morning. An autopsy's being performed in Charleston to figure out exactly how Kinney died, and they're hoping to have at least a preliminary cause of death by today.