Autopsy results confirm Beaufort County homicide

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - The autopsy results are in on the case of the death of 25-year-old Robert Blanding. The Beaufort County Coroner's Office confirms that the death was a homicide.

Officers saw what they called apparent gunshot wounds at the initial crime scene, but wanted to wait for an autopsy to produce the final results.They know Robert was last seen with his nephew, 19-year-old Chaz Blanding, leaving Chaz's house in Beaufort last Tuesday.

Deputies then found the St. Helena Island resident shot dead in a ditch on F and B Road on Lady's Island.

When officials started looking for Chaz, no one could find him. Police have since issued an Endangered Missing Person report for the younger Blanding.

"When you talk about missing endangered persons, we're concerned for Chaz's safety," Capt. Bob Bromage. "That means that the circumstances are highly suspicious that he's missing, so we're concerned and his family is concerned for his safety."

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office still piecing together everything that happened, but a confirmed autopsy report is giving answers.

"The body was sent to the medical university of South Carolina on Friday for a forensic autopsy and pathologists determined he died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds and ruled his death a homicide," said Bromage.

Ebony Watson, a family friend, says the Blanding family missed Thanksgiving with not one but two members of their family.

"He was a nice guy," said Watson. "He was quiet. He didn't want to bother nobody. You know he liked to dance. Man, all Rob ever wanted was love man. That's it. That's it."

Officials have not released information on where the two could have been that night or what they could have been doing.

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