UPDATE: Victim Identified in Taylors Blaze
Greenville County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death as "suspicious."
Updated 1:16 p.m., Feb. 22
Deputy Coroner Barry Wright has released the identity of the woman found dead in a burnt Taylors home.
Alice Barber Owenby, 63, was found face down in the bathroom of the 301 McConnell Road home, where she was the sole resident, Wright said.
"The reason it took a while after the fire was extinguished to find her was there were no interior walls left standing, the house was completely gutted,
the roof had collapsed and she ws actually under a couple of feet of burned rubble," Wright said.
Firefighters initially told Patch at the scene that no one was inside, but later that morning, they asked for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office to send an arson investigator to the scene. Owenby was found as firefighters sifted through the rubble with shovels.
The cause and manner of death will be released later today, Wright said.
UPDATED: 5:56 p.m., Feb. 21
The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death inside a burnt out home in Taylors as "suspicious," though the cause of death has not yet been determined.
At roughly 5:30 a.m., a passing motorist called 911 to inform authorities of a fire at a home near Waukegan Way and St. Mark Road. When Taylors Fire Department personnel departed from Station No. 3 on St. Mark Road, they saw the blaze in the early morning darkness at 301 McConnell Road and responded to the scene.
During the course of the investigation, an unidentified person was located inside the home. Dan Holman, who lives across the street from the scene, said the woman who lived at the residence was named Alice, and was elderly.
Firefighters at the scene initially said they believe no one was inside, but by 8:50 a.m., Taylors Fire Department had called an arson investigator from the Greenville County Sheriff's Office to help determine the cause of the fire.
The unidentified victim was found in one of the front rooms of the home.
"She was my neighbor for about the last two years," Holman said. "She was as sweet a lady as you could ever meet."
Holman said he was up until 1 a.m. Tuesday and didn't see anything out of the ordinary. He was awoken by firetrucks at 5:30 a.m., and by that time the house was fully engulfed in flames.
Later that morning, the Greenville County Sheriff's Office discovered a vehicle on Packs Mountain Road in Tigerville that is registered to the 301 McConnell Road address. Zach Hinton, public information officer for the Greenville County Sheriff's Office, said that the missing vehicle, coupled with the fact there is as of yet no determined cause of death or cause of the fire, has led the GCSO to investigate the incident as a "suspicious" death, but not necessarily a homicide.
Positive identification of the body will be made at autopsy, Hinton said.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers at 23-CRIME.