Walterboro -- Two people were arrested this week in connection with the death of an 83-year-old man whose body was found last month in the trunk of his car.

Authorities still do not know how Willie Singleton Sr. of Cypress Pond Road died. An autopsy performed on his body was inconclusive and there were no obvious signs of trauma to his body.

Debra Nichole Allen, 28, of 99 Prairie Lane, Round O, is charged with unauthorized removal of a dead body, desecration of human remains and grand larceny, according to a news release issued Thursday by the State Law Enforcement Division.

Willie James Butterfield, 53, of 310 King St., Walterboro, is charged with unauthorized removal of a dead body and desecration of human remains, the release says. Both were being held in Colleton County jail pending a bail hearing.

According to arrest warrants, Allen and Butterfield placed Singleton's body into the trunk of his Mercury Grand Marquis sedan sometime between March 19 and March 26 while they were at an unidentified hotel in Walterboro.

Allen is further accused of driving Singleton's car to the Cambridge Pointe Apartments on Neyle Street in Walterboro with Singleton's body still inside the trunk.

On March 26, Walterboro Public Safety officers and Colleton County sheriff's deputies discovered the vehicle on Neyle Street during a missing- persons investigation being conducted by the Sheriff's Office. Singleton had not been seen by family members for about a week.

Relatives gave authorities permission to open the trunk and Singleton's body was found inside.

The exact cause of Singleton's death is still under investigation by the Colleton County Coroner's Office.

The case is being investigated by SLED, the Walterboro Public Safety Department and the Sheriff's Office.

Reach David W. MacDougall at or 937-5655.