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Girlfriend found Rock Hill homicide victim

The girlfriend of a 62-year-old Rock Hill man whose death police are investigating as a homicide found him dead at his Orr Drive home after worry prompted her to check on him.

That and other new details in the investigation came out Friday. Police have not named any suspects.

According to a Rock Hill Police report, Alexander Hardin's neighbor, girlfriend Mary Miller, and her daughter entered the house at 324 Orr Drive through the back door and found Hardin on the floor near the front door "with blood coming from his head."

That was Thursday afternoon, Miller said.

Miller had known Hardin "since the sixties," she said Friday, but the two had drifted apart and reconnected last year, when her daughter wanted to find Hardin, her biological father.

"We were very close" since then, she said. "It's awful. It's terrible, and I don't see why that happened. I thought he was well liked, but somebody didn't like him."

Miller said she tried to get in touch with him on Tuesday and Wednesday, and when she couldn't, she and her daughter decided to go check on him.

"That's when we found out he wasn't with us anymore," she said. "I feel terrible. I wish there was some way to bring him back. I called his name three times, and he was gone."

Rock Hill Police Lt. Brad Redfearn said Hardin was assaulted with "some type of object."

Police could not confirm whether there were signs of forced entry into Hardin's home.

Police are investigating the incident as a homicide, which makes it the second in York County in 2012. On Jan. 5, Jackie Lashon Craine, a 34-year-old mother of three, was shot to death in Fort Mill by a man police identified as a her ex-boyfriend, James Enrico Diago, 38, who was arrested on murder charges.

York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said an autopsy was performed Friday morning. Gast wouldn't release any details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Family members told police that Hardin had recently lost a large amount of money and had a falling out with his son, who lives with him, the report stated.

Family members told police they had not seen the son, Andre Hardin, for several days, but police were able to contact him, Redfearn said Friday.

Officials would not say whether Andre Hardin or any others are suspects in the killing.

Attempts to reach Andre Hardin on Friday were unsuccessful.

Alexander Hardin, who is known as "Boot" to many, was named in a police report on Wednesday.

Larry Ellis of Fort Mill told police that Sunday morning, he was with a Boot Hardin at Hardin's residence, according to the report.

Ellis said after he left the house at about 2:30 a.m., someone snatched a bag he was carrying and ran off. The bag contained belongings of a deceased man Ellis was taking care of, including a will, a driver's license, a set of keys and several credit cards, he told police.

Ellis said he checked with Hardin the next day to see if the person had returned the bag. Hardin said no.

When the person snatched the bag, Ellis said he chased after him, but was struck on the head by an unknown assailant, he said.

Redfearn would not comment on details of the investigation but said police are looking into the possibility that the two incidents are related.

"We are following up on several leads that we have received," he said.

The police have interviewed several people, will continue interviews today and complete a neighborhood canvass, he said.

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