Officials: Donalds man apparently kills Hodges woman, then self
Tuesday, November 05, 2013 4:57 AM
Two people are dead following another apparent murder-suicide early Tuesday morning in the Lakelands.
Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox indentified the victim as 41-year-old Felicia Yvette Rayford, of 2906 Nation Road. Officials found her dead in her Hodges home just before 12:45 a.m. Tuesday with at least one gunshot wound.
About the same time, Abbeville County officials found 46-year-old Charles Ray Belcher dead in his home at 234 Devore Road in Donalds. Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley identified the man and said he died from a gunshot wound to the chest.
Officials from both counties believe the incidents are linked. Cox ruled Rayford's death a homicide, and Ashley indicated Belcher's death was an apparent suicide. Investigators believe the Donalds man killed Rayford, his girlfriend, then drove to his home and shot himself.
The incident comes less than seven days after last week's mass murder-suicide along Callison Highway during which a Greenwood man killed a family of five, including two children as well as his onetime girlfriend, before killing himself.
Ashley and Cox indicated that autopsies will be performed on both deceased persons today. The Abbeville County and Greenwood County coroner's offices are working together on the investigation. State Law Enforcement Division and the Abbeville County Sheriff's Office are assisting in the suicide investigation in Donalds. The Violent Crimes Task Force continues to investigate the homicide in Hodges.