Police say gun found by body

Wade Spees/staff ¬ @Photo cutline: Police and coroner's investigators were at the scene of a body found in a wooded area near Walmart on Wednesday.

A handgun was recovered with the body found near a Walmart store in West Ashley, according to a police report released Thursday, but authorities have not yet identified the man.

Investigators collected the 9 mm Ruger from the scene off West Ashley Circle and Bees Ferry Road, the report from the Charleston Police Department said.

The man’s body was discovered about 5 p.m. Wednesday by someone searching the woods for turtles, officers reported.

Officials initially said they couldn’t tell the sex of the body because it was badly decomposed, though the report indicates that it is a man.

Deputy Charleston County Coroner Kimberly Rhoton said Thursday that experts had not yet identified the body or determined how the man died.

The forest is just off Bees Ferry Road and adjacent to a parking lot at the Walmart Supercenter. Homeless people often were seen at the location, according to those who frequent the store.

Andrew Knapp is editor of the quick response team, which covers crime, courts and breaking news. He previously worked as a reporter and copy editor at Florida Today, Newsday and Bangor (Maine) Daily News. He enjoys golf, weather and fatherhood.