Missing Prosperity man found dead; half-brother arrested

NEWBERRY COUNTY (WACH) -- A man who has been missing since Friday has been found dead.

Newberry County Sheriff Deputies found the body of Walter "Tom" Hawkins Jr. 56, on Sunday. He was found in a wooded area of Maple Knoll Road; just outside of Prosperity.

Sheriff Lee Foster said foul play was involved after they found blood near Hawkins's home.

"It does appear that the body met a violent death," Foster said. "We are investigating it as a homicide."

Hawkins was last seen Friday night with his half-brother Darryl Richburg, 49. Foster said family members found Hawkins's body.

"They continued to search for the two brothers. They came across the body here which is about half a mile from the original residence."

Investigators say family members also found Richburg in a forest near his home a short time later. They detained him until law enforcement arrived. Richburg is charged with murder.

"It was a grand effort to conceal the body," Foster said. "We are not sure exactly what method was used to kill the person, but it is certainly not natural causes. The body has not been in this location for a significant amount of time."

Deputies have not found a motive in the case; but say it may have started from a domestic related argument. They also believe alcohol may have been involved.

The Newberry County Coroner's Office will perform an autopsy Monday to find the official cause of death.