Man’s body found in Chester County near I-77, sheriff says; Road blocked in probe

A man’s body was found Friday in rural Chester County near Interstate 77, officials said.

The body was found in the road on Appaloosa Ridge Drive near where the man lived, said Max Dorsey, Chester County Sheriff.

Chester County Coroner Terry Tinker and Dorsey identified the man as James Brian Thomason, 55. An autopsy was scheduled for later Friday, Tinker said.

The incident is under review as a death investigation, Dorsey said.

A passerby saw the body on the road and immediately called police, Dorsey said. Since the body was found on the road, troopers with the S.C. Highway Patrol were called and are part of the investigation, Dorsey said.

The highway patrol Major Accident Investigation Team was on scene Friday. The State Law Enforcement Division crime scene and forensics units also were called to the scene, Dorsey said.

“We are using all the resources at our disposal to do a complete and thorough investigation so we can determine what happened,” Dorsey said at the scene Friday.

SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby confirmed SLED agents are assisting Chester County deputies and highway patrol troopers in the investigation in the effort to determine what happened at the scene.

Sheriff’s deputies and troopers highway patrol blocked off the road. Crime scene tape was stripped across the road, and police officers blocked motorist access from both directions.

The area is near the town of Richburg, adjacent to I-77.

No other details were released Friday as the investigation unfolded.

The incident marks the third time since July law enforcement in Chester County has investigated after a body was found along a road.

In September, a woman’s burned body was found near I-77 along another rural road near Richburg. That woman was from Kentucky and was the victim of a homicide, Dorsey said. That case remains under investigation by SLED agents and deputies.

In July, a man’s body was found along the side of I-77 in Chester County near Richburg, officials said. That case also is under investigation by SLED.

Dorsey said Friday it is unclear if there is any connection to the other two cases where a body was found.

Check back for updates on this developing story.

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Andrew Dys covers breaking news and public safety for The Herald, where he has been a reporter and columnist since 2000. He has won 51 South Carolina Press Association awards for his coverage of crime, race, justice, and people. He is author of the book “Slice of Dys” and his work is in the U.S. Library of Congress.