LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC — A second suspect has been charged with the kidnapping and murder of a 22-year-old West Columbia man who hasn’t been seen since Christmas Eve 2011.
Jamey Charles Mallette, 36, of Gaston, was arrested Friday in connection to the disappearance of Michael Jody George, according to Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts.
According to arrest warrants, Mallette kidnapped and held George, last seen at Shooter’s Bar on Charleston Highway outside West Columbia, between 10 p.m. Dec. 23 and 5:30 a.m. Dec. 24, 2011.
Forensic evidence links Mallette to George’s disappearance and death, warrants allege, though officials with the sheriff’s department have not said what that evidence is.
In December, William Thomas “Tommy” Embree Jr., 34, a department of corrections inmate, was charged with kidnapping and murder in connection to George’s disappearance. Embree, who knew George, was at Shooter’s between those times. According to earlier arrest warrants, Embree put a visibly intoxicated and sick George into the 22-year-old’s car and drove off. George was not seen nor heard from again.
George’s brother contacted the sheriff’s department on Christmas Day, 2011 and reported that his brother was missing. George’s father, Gary George, also contacted the Sheriff’s Department Dec. 25 and told investigators he had found his son’s 1994 black Nissan Sentra parked on Beckman Road between Cannaberry Drive and Lena Drive near West Columbia, Metts said.
Deputies and detectives used all-terrain vehicles and a sheriff’s department helicopter to search the heavily wooded area, but the search did not generate any leads.
Embree, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence, was convicted of aggravated assault in March 2010 after choking his wife during an argument. He started the six-year sentence for the crime at Kershaw Correctional Institute in March, 2012.
Detectives are continuing to search for George’s body.
Mallette was taken to the Lexington County Detention Center Friday where he will wait for a bond hearing to be scheduled.
Anyone with information about Mallette, Embree or the disappearance and death of Michael George to contact the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department at (803) 785-8230 or CrimeStoppers at 1-888-274-6372.