05/21/2007

Body of missing S.C. constable believed found

The Associated Press

CAMERON, S.C. — Crews looking for a state constable last seen making a traffic stop found a shallow, freshly dug grave Saturday, authorities said.

A special team trained to preserve clues was painstakingly digging up the body, which had not been identified, Charleston County Sheriff's Capt. John Clark said.

Robert Lee Bailey, 67, was last seen Monday night in Lincolnville, 50 miles from the grave.

A few minutes later and a few blocks down the road, gunfire was heard. Bailey's hat and gun and a pool of blood were found in a yard, and his burning cruiser was found a few miles away off Interstate 26.

Later, his badge and handcuffs case were found in a wad of burned rags near Harleyville, about 20 miles farther up the interstate.

Authorities moved their search Saturday after talking to the girlfriend of the main suspect in the case, Clark said.

Bailey, a retired deputy, was a constable with Lincolnville for about five years, volunteering his time to the small town which has only one paid officer.

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