RAVENEL — Two children playing a game of hide-and-seek found a body Friday in a wooded area little more than a stone’s throw from U.S. 17.

The man was discovered behind a vacant house with busted-out windows down Roper Road Extension.

Tearful neighbors were stunned by the death.

“Oh, Lord, it can’t be true. It’s like a mystery thing,” said Arthur Brown, who described himself as a lifelong friend of the deceased, who was identified by the Charleston County Coroner as James Butler, 67.

“He was a nice old fellow. He didn’t bother anybody,” Brown said.

The death is being investigated as a homicide, according to the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office.

Charleston County Deputy Coroner Scott Ramsey said the cause of Butler’s death had not been determined.

Friends, family and neighbors gathered Friday down a dirt road where Butler lived in a trailer. A spokesman for the family said they would have no comment.

Butler’s residence was across Savannah Highway from where his body was found.

Brown said a neighbor went to Butler’s house to get a jump for a car battery. There was no answer at the home, and the neighbor saw blood in Butler’s truck. At that point, authorities were called, Brown said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 843-554-1111 or the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office at 843-202-1700.

Check back with postandcourier.com as more details become available.