The search for South Carolina man who was previously reported missing led to murder charges being levied against a mother and her son.
The Cherokee County sheriff’s office searched for Gary James Stone, 51, after his family reported him missing. They became worried when he hadn’t made contact with them. Police interviewed his common-law wife, Dawn Michelle Wilkins, 40, who lived with Stone, to gather any information that might help locate him. Wilkins told deputies that Stone left the house and they had a fight and he hadn’t spoken to her since.
Deputies received a phone tip that made them return to the property almost a week later with search warrants.
A family member said she became alarmed when a neighbor contacted her to say they noticed blood on the door of the house. That’s when those involved with the case began to suspect foul play.
Upon searching the property in the secondary visit, pieces of Stone’s dismembered body were found in separate containers underneath the house he shared with Wilkins. Both she and her son, Charles Jacob Bridges, 18, were charged with murder.
Sheriff Steve Mueller said Bridges admitted involvement but Wilkins did not.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death has been scheduled, according to Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler.