Charleston Coroner: Body From Castle Pinckney Identified As Missing Resident

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The office of Charleston County, South Carolina coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal has confirmed that a body discovered near Castle Pinckney in Charleston harbor yesterday afternoon (April 1, 2024) is indeed that of missing medical university resident Zachary Elder Lewis.

Lewis, 31, originally of Richmond, Kentucky, was reported missing by his family on Easter Sunday (March 31, 2024). According to O’Neal’s office, his body was found the following day on Shutes Folly Island – which is home to Castle Pinckney, an antebellum-era masonry fortification.

Shutes Folly is located approximately 4,500 feet from the homes of Rainbow Row on East Bay Street in downtown Charleston. It is situated between Charleston and Mount Pleasant, S.C. at the confluence of the Ashley and Cooper rivers.

Lewis’ body was reported to Charleston police at approximately 2:35 p.m. EDT and recovered from the uninhabited island by the agency’s harbor patrol unit.


Sponsored by BAMBERG LEGAL, our Unsolved Carolinas series shines a spotlight on cases that have fallen off the front pages in the hopes of finding answers – and justice – for victims.


O’Neal’s office has concluded a forensic autopsy but has not released a cause of death. According to police, an investigation into Lewis’ cause of death is underway but that as of this writing, there are no immediate suspicions or indications of foul play.

Lewis was a resident at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) and a graduate of the College of Charleston, where he played for the Cougars’ tennis team.

“Zack was a great young man,” a Sullivans Island resident whose child played tennis with Lewis told this media outlet. “He was one of the good guys.”

Lewis was reported missing by his family on Easter Sunday after leaving his residence on Ashley Avenue on foot at approximately 2:00 a.m. EDT. Lewis walked to his residence from another location in the downtown area prior to his early morning departure.

Why he left his home on foot at that hour is not yet known …

This media outlet has received information from sources close to Lewis related to the purported circumstances surrounding his disappearance. As we work to vet the information we have received, we are providing it to Charleston police as its detectives continue their work on this case.




(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven (soon to be eight) children.



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