Identity investigation

Florence County Coroner Bubba Matthews has tentatively identified a body police found in an abandoned building Saturday night on Irby Street.

Matthews said the cause of death is homicidal violence and stab wounds. He has made an identification, but said it is impossible to prove it.

He said it is a young, black male but identifying him with dental records, which is the normal procedure, is out of the question because his body was badly decomposed.

But, he is naming the victim as 17-year-old Jeremiah Jenkins of Florence who has been missing since August 6th.

Matthews said the deceased was wearing the same clothes and jewelry as those last seen on Jenkins.

He also said the time of death is also consistent with the time Jenkins disappeared.

People who live around the building where the body was found are worried.

Evelyn Marshall's Florence home is right across the street from the abandoned building where police found the body after receiving an anonymous tip.

Evelyn Marshall saw the body being rolled out and said the fact that it was discovered across the street from where she lives is enough to scare her.

"I just didn't know, but with the guys walking around down there with Hazmat suits, that made me uncomfortable. I just couldn't imagine what they had, then, of course, they rolled the body out."

She has always considered her neighborhood safe, but she and other neighbors want the building torn down.

The body is in Charleston where forensic pathologists are testing the DNA.

Bubba Matthews is in contact with them and is hoping that DNA will tell them more about what happened.

NewsChannel 15 will be checking in with the coroner. Stay with and NewsChannel 15 for more information.