National

Baby’s body found in sealed containers during eviction at South Carolina apartment

FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. (WSPA) – Authorities are investigating after the remains of a baby were found in an apartment while a deputy was serving eviction papers, according to the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office.

It happened Monday at the Fountain Hills Apartments on Chapman Road.

The baby’s remains were found in a bedroom in the third-floor apartment of a female resident who was served eviction papers before the gruesome discovery.

Fountain Inn Police Chief Keith Morton says the baby was in a sealed container inside another sealed container for an undetermined amount of time.

“It’s tragic all around,” Chief Morton said.

Morton says they are making counseling available to officers investigating the case.

No charges have been filed at this time.

Morton said police are awaiting the results of an autopsy scheduled Tuesday and continue to actively investigate the case.

“The landlord was coming down and she was just crying,” said Bianca Jackson, a resident at the complex, “I’m like, ‘Miss Reina, what’s wrong?’ And she was like ‘Bianca, there’s a dead baby up there.’”

“You could actually smell it coming down once they lifted the tops open,” Jackson said.

Fountain Inn Police Department are investigating the infant’s death, along with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

“It’s very sad and very difficult for officers and investigators to have to go in and do their job and determine what took place,” said Fountain Inn Police Capt. Michael Hamilton.

Laurens County Coroner Nick Nichols also expressed sadness.

“It hurts real deep to see this child under this type of situation,” Nichols said.

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New life for New Albany business complex

An aging strip mall in New Albany is getting new life after the city’s redevelopment commission this week pledged significant financial support to the project.

The commission voted to spend $1 million for infrastructure, lighting, and parking lot improvements on Colonial Manor along Charlestown Road, an area targeted for enhancements by the city.

Developer Brian Forrest of Hoagland Commercial Realtors last year purchased Colonial and said he intends to invest $6.5 million for improvements.

“Revitalization efforts have been kick-started by Mr. Forrest and the New Albany Redevelopment Commission,” said New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan. “We will now move forward with the best possible option and begin resurrecting the Charlestown Road corridor immediately.”

Gahan says the city has been targeting that part of the city for redevelopment efforts for years, but various plans fell through. Last April the city council rejected the redevelopment commission’s plan to purchase the property for $2.6 million.

According to the city, Forrest has secured several long-term office tenants that will bring more than 100 jobs to the area.

“I have been watching Colonial Manor for the past few years hoping to do something and revitalize it like I’ve done in other communities,” said Forrest. “With the City of New Albany’s assistance, we are now making that a reality. The goal is to have it filled with retail, medical and service-oriented tenants.”

Initial work will begin in March, with full-blown construction by May. Forrest intends to have 10-15 tenants on the property.

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