Crime & Courts

Body of missing woman found in shallow grave, suspect in custody in killing

Suzanne Ginther.
Suzanne Ginther. Twitter

A suspect in the killing of a Sumter woman has been arrested.

The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that the suspect was custody is for the killing of Suzette Ginther. The suspect’s name was not released. A news conference involving the details of the arrest will be held at 2 p.m.

Ginther, 27, was shot in the head, said Sumter County Coroner Robert Baker. She had been reported missing Thursday, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

Her body was found by a hunter in Manchester State Forest near Camp Burnt Gin in a shallow grave.

Ken Bell, spokesman for the sheriff’s office, said law enforcement was fortunate that a hunter discovered Ginther’s body.

The hunter had been in the remote area of the state forest looking for places to set up cameras, Bell said. He visited the area prior to Thursday and noticed a sizable hole had been dug up.

When the hunter returned to set up the cameras on Thursday, he saw the hole had been covered over and notified law enforcement, Bell said. Ginther’s vehicle was also recovered near where her body was discovered, which is about five miles from her home, Bell said.

It’s possible that Ginther was alive when she was taken to where her body was discovered, and shot to death at that scene, Bell said. The spot where Ginther was found is about 150 yards from the end of a dirt road, and she might have been made to walk to the location rather than killed elsewhere and dumped in that spot.

She worked at the PetSmart on Garners Ferry Road, said Bell, adding concerned co-workers called Ginther’s live-in boyfriend when she failed to show up for work.

Her boyfriend then called law enforcement and reported her missing, Bell said. Ginther’s boyfriend is the last person who reported seeing her before her body was discovered.

Bell said the boyfriend last saw Ginther when he left to take her two children to school. The children’s father was told she was missing by law enforcement.

Cynthia Roldán: @CynthiaRoldan