SC man dies of heart attack while trying to bury girlfriend’s body in backyard

TRENTON, S.C. — A South Carolina man dropped dead of a heart attack as he tried to bury his girlfriend’s body in the backyard, according to the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Office.

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On Saturday, deputies responded to reports of an unresponsive man lying in a yard outside a home in Trenton, which is about 20 miles from the South Carolina/Georgia border.


Joseph Anthony McKinnon, 60, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies found the body of Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, wrapped in trash bags in a freshly dug grave.

Autopsies on the couple found that McKinnon died of a heart attack. Dent was found to have died by strangulation, according to WJBF.

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Investigators believe McKinnon attacked Dent inside their home, then bound her and wrapped her in the trash bags before putting her in a previously dug pit.

McKinnon was filling the pit up with dirt when he had a cardiac event and died.

The couple’s next of kin have been notified.