Arrests made in Francis Marion Forest killing

Joshua Micheal Pruitt, 18, of Cainhoy Road in Huger,was charged Friday, Sept. 22 with the murder of 31-year-old Robert Moultrie of Conway. Provided photo.

Authorities have made two arrests in the killing of a 31-year-old man found shot to death in the Francis Marion National Forest earlier this month.

Joshua Micheal Pruitt, 18, of Cainhoy Road in Huger was taken into custody at his home on Thursday, Dan Moon, spokesman for the Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office, said. He is charged with murder and is scheduled for a bond hearing tonight at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center.

The other suspect, Patrick Dwayne Kinlock, 22, of Greg Drive in Huger, was apprehended in Florida this morning, Moon said.

Investigators had determined Kinlock might be at a residence in Middleburg, Fla. With assistance from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Marshal’s Service, Kinlock was located and arrested, Moon said.

An extradition hearing will be scheduled to return him to South Carolina, he said.

The two men are accused of killing 31-year-old Robert Moultrie of Conway, who was found dead inside his vehicle in a rural area near Huger on Sept. 11.

Moon would not comment on a possible motive for the killing or what evidence have linking the two suspects to Moultrie’s death. He said investigators have not yet had a chance to speak with Kinlock, and they want to hear what he has to say before divulging more about the case.

An area resident spotted Moultrie’s tan Chevrolet Suburban about 20 yards into the woods off Brick Church Road, which connects Cainhoy Road to S.C. Highway 41. Moultrie was found inside “in a fetal position in the rear passenger compartment,” an incident report stated.

He was already dead.

An autopsy later confirmed that Moultrie had died of the bullet wound, but investigators still were trying to determine whether he was shot in the forest or elsewhere. The sheriff’s report mentions only one bullet wound to Moultrie’s “left chest area.”

Other residents of the small communities in the forest near Huger told deputies and The Post and Courier that they spotted the SUV late on Sept. 9. They thought little of the find, though, chalking up the sighting to hunting activity.

But those first, unreported sightings likely came within hours of the last time Moultrie was seen alive.

His brother in Georgetown County told deputies there that Moultrie paid him a visit that day and seemed agitated.

Without stating a source for the information, family members told deputies that they learned Moultrie had attended a party in the Huger area on Sunday, then left for home over the forest’s roads.

Moultrie, who had a felony arrest history that included convictions for burglary and trafficking cocaine, was the fourth homicide victim to be found in the Francis Marion this year.

Check back with for more details as they become available.