Top row: Victor Smith(left), Darius Smith Bottom row: Jeremiah Jones(left), Allen Fulton
Richland County (WLTX) - Richland County deputies say they now know what led up to the discovery of human bones outside an apartment complex in Northeast Richland County earlier this month, and it's led to four arrests.
Officers say they've taken the following suspects into custody and charged them with murder: 21-year-old Jeremiah Jones, 20-year-old Allen Fulton, 25-year-old Victor Smith, and 19-year-old Darius Smith.
On July 20, surveyors working behind the North Stone Apartment Complex on Elders Pond Circle found the skeletal remains of a human body. The body was located in the woods, and was wrapped in a shower curtain and a laundry hamper.
Detectives determined that the remains were of a 25-year-old man who was reported missing on October 6, 2008.
Deputies were able to link the remains to the original crime scene and the four people involved.
Investigators say that Victor Smith has said that the victim stole money from him. According to deputies, Smith and the victim were co-workers at a restaurant.
Victor Smith apparently told the three other suspects about the theft, and recruited them to help him beat up the victim and get his money back.
The victim went to Victor Smith's residence on Elder's Pond Circle after he got off work on September 27. As he was sitting on the sofa eating food, Victor Smith and the other suspects beat the victim with fists, kicks, and other items to inflict blunt force trauma.
Deputies say Victor Smith then shot the victim with a handgun.
Officers say the suspects then wrapped the victim's body in a shower curtain and laundry hamper and took him to the wooded area. Investigators say the four suspects then began using cleaning supplies and paint to try to cover up the crime scene.
The Richland County Sheriff's Department's forensic team were able to find evidence in the apartment nevertheless. Deputies say they also got valuable information from the community.
Fulton, Darius Smith, and Jones are in the Richland County Jail. Victor Smith is in a Mississippi prison on unrelated charges, and will be brought to Richland County after he finishes serving time there.