84
      Sunday
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      Monday
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      Tuesday
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      Police launch internal investigation into Sponseller search

      Chief Randy Scott says he is probing why his officers failed to find the body of 61-year-old Sponseller in a parking garage underneath his office building.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH / AP) -- Columbia police are launching an internal investigation into why it took officers 10 days to find the body of missing CEO Tom Sponseller.

      Chief Randy Scott says he is probing why his officers failed to find the body of 61-year-old Sponseller in a parking garage underneath his office building.

      "I'm really disappointed that the family had to go through this many days of grief," said Scott. "I can tell you it's going to make us take an even more in-depth look at how we do business. We're not perfect, but I'm a little disapointed."

      Sponseller was found dead Tuesday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Coroner Gary Watts says Sponseller died around the same time he was reported missing Feb. 18.

      "Although he has been found and everything indicates it was self-inflicted, the police department and our office is going to continue to investigate this until we can come up with as many answers as we can for the family and the public," said Watts.

      Scott says officers found the body in a locked room during a fourth search of the garage.

      The area where Sponseller was found was searched three times before his body was found including one search with cadaver dogs.

      He says officers went to the room after learning of a suicide note found in Sponseller's office that referenced a federal investigation into money missing from the South Carolina Hospitality Association.

      "Anything we do we learn from it and we definitely learned from this," said Scott. "We're not done. this investigation is still going."

      (The Associated Press contributed to this report.)