Officer who left K9 partner in hot car is suspended

The officer who left his K9 partner, Tank, in a hot car, leading to his death, has been suspended without pay for 60 days, according to Bennettsville Police Chief Larry McNeil.

In addition, Officer Robert Miller will be placed on probation for 90 days following the suspension and is permanently restricted from being a K9 officer in the future.

Tank, a black Labrador Retriever, died August 13, one day after Miller left him in a car outside the Bennettsville Police Department.

A veterinarian's report was released Thursday showing Tank died as a result of a heat stroke. Chief McNeil says the agency's criminal investigation showed that the case is "unfounded for criminal intent."

We asked why an outside agency was not brought in to investigate the situation. Chief McNeil said he didn't call in the State Law Enforcement Division because it was a personnel matter.