CLOVER, S.C. (WBTV) - Months after three people were found dead in a South Carolina home on July 31, autopsy reports and a suicide letter have been released.
Officials say they were conducting a wellness check at the home on Griggs Road in Clover when they discovered three people - a man and two women - dead.
The York County Coroner’s Office identified the man as 45-year-old Thomas Gardner. The coroner said Thomas Gardner died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Mr. Gardner left a letter identifying the two women found in the home as his mother, 69-year-old Susan Gardner, and her sister, 77-year-old Ruth Allred.
He indicated in said letter that his mother, Susan, had died back in November of 2015 and her sister, Ruth, had died about six months later. The coroner’s office confirms that the condition of the remains were consistent with the time frame given by Mr. Gardner.
Mr. Gardner further stated that he was afraid he would be blamed for his mother’s and aunt’s death - that is why he did not contact authorities.
After the completed autopsies, it was determined that Ruth Allred’s cause of death is probable atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease - or a natural death.
Susan Gardner’s cause of death is undetermined, but no traumatic injuries were identified.
This investigation took months. The York County Sheriff’s Office tweeted about the investigation back in July.
“It is unusual and that’s why we’re taking our time to make sure we fully investigate this case and make sure we find out exactly what happened, and why on a quiet Clover road, three bodies have been found deceased,” Trent Faris with the York County Sheriff’s Office said.
Neighbors reacted to the discovery the day of.
“Oh that’s a lot, oh that’s scary,” neighbor Denise Smalls said. “Just the thought that it happened in my neighborhood.”
From WBTV’s Sky3, multiple investigators could be seen around the home back in July. Several areas on the property were taped off.
Anyone with information about the investigation should call York County Crime Stoppers at 803-628-5868.