A Lexington County teen has been charged with throwing a nude woman off a second-floor Myrtle Beach hotel balcony, and the victim was found in the Columbia area after being reported missing for much of Tuesday.
The victim, an 18-year-old from West Virginia, left with two friends of the teen who was charged after she was discharged from a Myrtle Beach hospital soon after midnight Tuesday, according to a police report.
After being thrown from the balcony Monday evening, the woman told four witnesses she had been raped, the report said.
Cody James Epley, 17, of Swansea, has been charged with first-degree assault, police said. An investigation was ongoing, authorities said.
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But the woman’s mother filed a missing person report Tuesday morning because she had not been able to get in touch with her daughter, police said.
One of the victim’s friends called the mother and said her daughter was leaving the hospital with two men, whom she had met earlier that night. The mother told police they were friends of Epley’s, the report said.
Grand Strand Regional Medical Center personnel told officers the victim did not appear to be afraid of the men and “was excited about going to Columbia with the two guys she was with,” the report said.
The victim arrived at a Columbia-area police station Tuesday evening, authorities said. No other details were available.
Around 5:30 p.m. Monday, Myrtle Beach officers said, they were called to Sea Dunes Oceanfront Motel on Ocean Boulevard, where they found the woman on a stairway, crying, covered with a sheet and surrounded by several witnesses.
The woman reportedly had been thrown nude off a second-story balcony at the motel after a struggle with one or two men, the report said.
Candace Baker and her husband told The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News they were walking along the boulevard when they heard screaming and saw a woman struggling with a man on the hotel balcony. Within seconds, they said they saw a man throw a woman over the balcony.
“I thought, ‘Wow. What happened here?’’’ Candace Baker said.
Epley was released on $20,000 bail at midday Tuesday.
Efforts to reach Epley’s parents, James and Teresa Epley, were unsuccessful Tuesday.
Both parents were involved in a 1994 domestic fight that left their 2-year-old son with a knife wound around the eye, according to published reports.
Teresa Epley pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and battery and received a suspended sentence and probation, according to court records. James Epley was charged with child cruelty and criminal domestic violence, according to records. The outcome of those charges was unknown Tuesday.
The child was not named in published reports and court records, but Cody Epley would have been 2 in 1994, according his date of birth listed on the Myrtle Beach police report.