Autopsy on Hanahan homicide victim reveals no cause of death

Investigators on Sunday were at the scene of a house on Lombardi Lane in Hanahan where a 71-year-old man was found slain. @Photo credit: Diette Courrege/Staff

An autopsy this morning did not immediately determine how a Hanahan man died inside his home last weekend, Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said.

Roy Ray Bennett, 71, was found in his bed Sunday afternoon after a concerned neighbor walked inside, according to the Hanahan Police Department. The death was labeled a homicide, though investigators wouldn’t say how they think he died.

Salisbury said further testing might reveal that.

Hanahan police Lt. Michael Fowler said investigators found no signs of forced entry at the home at 2 Lombardi Lane, which is in the Otranto neighborhood. Detectives continue to look for Bennett’s missing pickup, a silver Toyota Tacoma, believed to have been stolen after the killing. It had a S.C. license tag of CBP-692.

A neighbor, who feared retribution and asked not to be named, found Bennett’s body and said his limbs were bound with duct tape. Fowler said he could not confirm or deny that account.

Fowler said investigators want to interview several people but that they had no solid suspects.

Bennett was an Army veteran and was retired after a career as an electrical engineer at the MeadWestvaco paper plant in North Charleston.

He was the subject of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation that started in 2009, when agents said they found child pornography on his computer.

Bennett’s son, Tim Bennett of Columbia, said someone else had downloaded and distributed the images.

Tim Bennett described his father as a good man “who didn’t deserve to die like this.”

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