A Horry County, South Carolina deputy coroner was charged in the murder of a man who was missing for more than a month.
Christopher Allen Dontell, 37, and Meagan Marie Jackson, 35, were both arrested and charged with murder in the death of 47-year-old Gregory Vincent Rice, according to a statement from the Horry County Police Department.
Rice was last seen by friends as he was leaving work on Oct. 2 in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He was reported missing on the following Monday when he didn’t show up for work.
Authorities immediately zeroed in on Dontell and told the Horry County coroner’s office he would be questioned in the investigation. Officials from the coroner’s office gave Horry County Police permission to access Dontell’s work phone and car on Oct. 5.
“As a result of the investigation, both Dontell and Jackson were identified as suspects in the disappearance and murder of Gregory Rice,” Horry County Police Department officials said.
According to the Horry County coroner’s office, Dontell was a suspect in the investigation beginning on Oct. 23. He was immediately suspended and denied access to all county property.
Police used blood hounds and multiple search warrants to help find Rice.
Rice’s body was found on Nov. 8 and Dontell was fired on Monday morning.
Both Dontell and Jackson were booked at the J. Reuben Long Detention Center in Horry County Wednesday morning.
According a Facebook post by Rice’s ex wife, Jackson shared children with Rice.
“I hope she burns in hell for what she put my son through already and what he will continue to lose due to his absence,” Rice’s ex-wife wrote. “I’m so very sorry for his passing, Greg was loved and will be missed by many.”
WBTW reporters spoke with Rice’s older brother who confirmed that Jackson was the mother of Rice’s four children.
As of Wednesday evening, it was unclear as to how Rice or Jackson knew the deputy coroner.
It appears Rice’s family is from Ohio.
Dontell has worked at the coroner’s office since 2018, according to his LinkedIn profile. He also worked as director of operations for JDS Services, a construction business.
Police have released very little information in the case.
We will continue to look into this case… Stay tuned..
ABOUT THE AUTHOR..
Mandy Matney is the news director at FITSNews. She’s an investigative journalist from Kansas who has worked for newspapers in Missouri, Illinois, and South Carolina before making the switch to FITS. She currently lives on Hilton Head Island where she enjoys beach life. Mandy also hosts the Murdaugh Murders podcast. Want to contact Mandy? Send your tips to [email protected].
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