“No Foul Play found in Fatal Fire on Dacusville Highway”

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has not uncovered any evidence of criminal activity thus far in the investigation of a man found deceased in the burned debris left from a small building that was consumed by fire on November 21, 2018.

An autopsy was conducted on Thanksgiving morning and detectives present during that examination were not provided any information or evidence indicating that Mr. Rickey A. Johnson died by any other means outside of what is normally found in incidents where someone becomes either trapped or disoriented during a structure fire.

Interviews with the surviving girlfriend who also was injured during the event have provided the only eye witness details of the moments leading up to the building becoming completely engulfed by fire.

The girlfriend (60yoa) states that only she and the victim were residing in the small structure that resembled a large storage building. The residents were using propane heaters to warm the interior and on the morning of the incident they observed flames near a propane heater.

The victim and witness approached the only door to the exterior when the victim turned around as if to gather some personal items. He never exited the door before it became totally consumed by flames. The victim’s dog also perished in the fire.

An extensive search of the scene did not uncover any evidence that would indicate that the fire was intentionally set or that any type accelerant was used to start the fire.

Detectives will wait for the final results that will come from routine, toxicology tests performed on the victim before making a final determination. Agents from the SC Law Enforcement Division are assisting the Sheriff’s Office with the investigation.


“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office continues to Investigate Fatal Fire on Dacusville Highway “

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has throughout the day continued to investigate the fire that tragically resulted in a man’s death earlier this morning.

As previously released, a passing motorist observed flames at approximately 8:35am coming from a small structure within plain view from the road located at 3156 Dacusville Highway.

Emergency responders arrived on the scene to find the building which appeared to be initially designed as a storage building to be completely destroyed.

The Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that two adults (male and female) and a dog lived inside the location. The male (61yoa) along with the dog perished in the fire.  The female (60yoa) was transported from the scene to the hospital where she is being treated for burns to the hands.

Preliminary information and an examination of the scene do not immediately indicate any obvious signs of foul play.

Detectives have been able to conduct a brief interview with the surviving woman who has indicated that she and her boyfriend, who is the deceased, lived at the location. Just prior to the incident being reported by the passing motorist, the female resident stated that both she and her boyfriend observed fire at or near a propane heater inside the structure.

As they attempted to evacuate from the building, the male turned to retrieve items and never exited the structure according to the girlfriend.

An autopsy is scheduled on a later date to determine the exact cause and manner of death for the male.

The Sheriff’s Office with the assistance of SLED investigators will continue to examine and test samples taken from the scene along with the results from the autopsy once it has been performed.

Sheriff Rick Clark stated…

“Pickens County is not immune from the occasional tragedy involving the loss of life. Our hearts and prayers remain with all of those involved or in some way connected to this incident to include our first responders”. 

The Sheriff’s Office does not have any additional information to release at this time and as new information or details are discovered, we will disseminate that information to all media resources at one time in the form of an additional media release.



“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office assists Dacusville Fire Department in Fatal Fire Investigation”

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently conducting a joint investigation with the Dacusville Fire Department into the circumstances of a structural fire that occurred this morning at 3156 Dacusville Hwy in Easley.

A passing motorist reported the fire at approximately 8:35am to what initially was believed to be a shed just off the roadway.

Emergency crews responded to the scene and found a small building on fire that was completely destroyed.

One adult believed to be a male has been found deceased inside the remains of the structure and preliminary information is that an adult female has been taken to a hospital for injuries sustained during the incident.

The relationship between the two parties is still unknown and authorities have not yet determined whether they were residing inside the location or just present when the fire started.

The investigation is in the very early stages and no additional information is available for release at this time. The Sheriff’s Office will update as more information becomes available later in the day.

Inquiries as to the identity of the deceased should be directed to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.


“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Asks for Public’s Help in Identifying Armed Robbery Suspect “

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Griffin Grocery Suspect


The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating an Armed Robbery that occurred at Griffin Grocery located at 1804 Pumpkintown Hwy on September 14, 2018.

Surveillance video collected during the investigation confirms that at approximately 6:15pm, a white male believed to be in his late 20’s or early 30’s walked into the business and presented a dark colored, semi-automatic handgun while demanding money from the clerk.

The man was given an undisclosed amount of money from the register and was last seen exiting the store on foot. There were no shots fired and no injuries were sustained by any party.

At the time of the robbery, the male was wearing a grey stocking cap, sunglasses, a blue or purple colored hoodie, white tennis shoes, and black gloves.

A still image from the video has been attached to this release and the Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone that may have information regarding the identity of the suspect to please call the Sheriff’s Office at (864) 898-5500 or Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.


“Pickens County Woman Bitten by Rabid Kitten”

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office received a request for assistance from a Liberty resident in the area of Black Bottom Rd after she was bitten on the finger by a young kitten.

A deputy from the Sheriff’s Office Animal Enforcement Unit responded out to the residence on September 07, 2018, at which time the homeowner advised that a skunk had previously come onto the property and killed several cats and kittens. The skunk later died on her property.

Several days passed and the homeowner was attempting to handle one of the surviving kittens after noticing that it appeared to have difficulty in maintaining its balance. As she was in contact with the kitten, it started to act violently and bit the woman on her finger breaking the skin.

The kitten was captured and taken to the Pickens County Animal Shelter where it was euthanized and forwarded to DHEC for testing. This week the Sheriff’s Office was notified by DHEC that the animal did test positive for rabies.

The homeowner was immediately notified and she proceeded to receive the prescribed treatment for potential exposure to the disease.

The Sheriff’s Office is not aware of any other danger to the community since the skunk is no longer alive and no longer roaming the area.

The kitten did not appear to have any visible wounds from the skunk; however, transmission of rabies can often occur from animals that have access to the same food or water bowls.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone that observes any wild animal that is acting strange or appears to be suffering from an unknown illness to avoid contact if at all possible and to use extreme caution with personal pets until they have been examined by a veterinarian.


“Pickens County Sheriff’s Office Assists Liberty Fire Department in Fatal Fire Investigation “

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office is currently conducting a joint investigation with the Liberty Fire Department into the circumstances of a structural fire that occurred this morning at 401 Morning Dew Court.

A fire was reported at approximately 11:20am with information that a residence was on fire and that an occupant may be trapped inside the residence. Fire and EMS personnel arrived on the scene and discovered heavy smoke inside the single story modular home.

An adult female advised first responders that she lived at the location and was asleep when she was woken up by the sound of her dog barking. The interior of the residence was filled with dark smoke and she escaped through a bedroom window.

Fire Service personnel located an adult male inside the residence that had not been able to escape. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Preliminary investigation has indicated that there were only two adults inside the residence when the incident occurred and both subjects are not blood related yet reside together along with another adult who was not at the scene when the incident occurred.

The Sheriff’s Office has requested specialized services from the SC Law Enforcement Division to assist in the investigation of the cause and origin of the fire.

Inquiries as to the identity of the deceased should be directed to the Pickens County Coroner’s Office.



“Escaped Inmate Located and Taken back into Custody without Incident”

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The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office has located and arrested the inmate within the past half hour that escaped from the Pickens County Detention Center earlier this morning.

A deputy located Jonathon Ray Jefferson Neal (24yoa) at a residence on Hwy 8. After a brief foot chase, he was taken into custody without any further use of force.

He was transported back to the Detention Center where his status will be upgraded from a minimum to a high risk security level. He now will face the additional charge of Escape.

Statements made by Mr. Jefferson Neal to the arresting deputy indicated that the motivation for his escape was merely to see his family.

Sheriff Rick Clark stated…

“The residents of Pickens County are fortunate to have the caliber of deputies that work for the citizens at the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office.  

The tenacity and commitment displayed today by our personnel to locate and return this man to justice so quickly speaks volumes in regards to their efforts and service to our community.  

My hat is certainly off to the arresting deputy. Job well done!”