Crime & Courts

Man charged with murder after body found at Mexican restaurant, Columbia police say

Conrad Anderson was charged with murder after a body was found behind a Mexican restaurant on Forest Drive in April.
Conrad Anderson was charged with murder after a body was found behind a Mexican restaurant on Forest Drive in April. Columbia Police Department

More than a month after a body was discovered behind a Mexican restaurant, a man has been charged with murder, the Columbia Police Department said Tuesday.

Conrad Anderson, 48, was charged with murder after he was found by officers and members of the U.S. Marshals Service, police said in a news release.

Police said Anderson was found on Cedar Terrace, which is near the Dorn VA Medical Center.

The murder charge stems from the death of Charles Crane, who was found behind San Jose Mexican Restaurant on Forest Drive on April 5, according to the news release. That is in an area filled with retail businesses and restaurants, including a Walmart Supercenter.

The death was ruled a homicide a week after Crane’s body was discovered, The State reported.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Crane’s cause of death was the result of blunt force trauma, according to the news release. Watts said the 35-year-old was from Pensacola, Florida, The State reported.

Police said they believe Anderson and Crane knew each other and were arguing before the deadly attack.

Anderson is being taken to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, where he will await a bond hearing.

Court records show Anderson has other pending charges. In July 2018 police arrested Anderson and charged him with selling drugs near a school while unlawfully carrying a gun.

His criminal record goes back to the late 1990s, according to records.

In 1999 Anderson was found guilty of domestic violence, The State reported. He pleaded guilty to assault of a high and aggravated nature and domestic violence in 2002 and was sentenced to three years in prison with two years of probation. A judge sentenced him to five years in prison.

After he was released, police arrested him in 2004 for burglary to which he pleaded guilty and spent one year in jail. Police arrested Anderson again in 2005 on charges of pointing a gun and assaulting someone, which landed him in prison for five years.

Anderson has lived in Eastover and Columbia, court records show.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.