Coroner: woman killed by blunt force trauma to face

Police investigate murder

The Horry County Coroner's Office says Phyllis Monarch died of blunt force trauma to the face, and possible asphyxiation.

Conway Police spent much of Wednesday in a quiet neighborhood, the sort of neighborhood that doesn't typically attract police.

They were on Creel Street in Conway at the home of Dan and Phyllis Monarch. That's after they received a call from Phyllis's co-workers around 9:00 a.m.

"They said she had not made it into work, and it was very unlike her not to be at work," said Catina Hipp with the Conway Police Department.

Police say Phyllis's husband, Dan, informed her employer that she was missing.

"He said she left around 7:45 this morning for a jog, and he had not seen her since," explained Hipp.

It wasn't until 1:30 Wednesday afternoon that Phyllis, 49, was found dead by police bloodhounds.

Authorities found her body in a ditch off of New Road, along a route police say she typically jogged. That's just a few blocks from the Monarch's home.

Police charged her husband Dan, 53, with murder. Conway Police say his initial court apperance will be June 11th.

As police investigated Wednesday, neighbors looked on in shock.

"They were always out walking and doing yard work together," recalled Chris Oglebay, a neighbor. "They seemed extremely happy. I mean, I just can't believe it. I really don't think it's true."

Oglebay says she was just at the Monarch's home for a homeowners association meeting.

"We actually had a meeting the other night at his house... They're very giving and every time we had meetings there at the house she always baked stuff. She always had goodies to eat," continued Oglebay.

Now, a woman is dead, her husband behind bars, and community is left wondering.

"They were just super people. It's just a real mystery," said Oglebay.

A source close to the investigation tells NewsChannel 15 that Phyllis Monarch did not appear to have suffered any external wounds or injuries.

Authorities plan to release an exact cause of death after Thursday's autopsy.

If you have any information that might help investigators, you're asked to contact the Conway Police Department at (843) 248-1790.

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