A city employee found human skeletal remains under an I-26 overpass near downtown Charleston. As of Monday afternoon, the Charleston County Coroner’s Office has not been able to positively identify the remains.


Around 9 a.m. Friday morning, Charleston police responded to a call from the overpass by Heriot Street, which is near the northern end of Rutledge Avenue. A worker with the city’s Livability Department said he was at the location to clear away trash and clothing that had been piled up on a dirt mound under the overpass when he found the decedent “in a sleeping bag underneath some of the debris,” according to a police incident report. The dirt mound is near an Interstate on-ramp, but there is no pedestrian access nearby.

An officer on the scene took the following notes:

I observed the decedent to be mainly skeletal remains at the top of the sand pile directly under the I-26 overpass. I note that I was only able to observe the cranium portion of [the] skeleton as well as the tops of fingers protruding from the sleeping bag he was lying in. It appeared that the party passed while lying on his back. There did not appear to be any noticeable trauma to the exposed portion of the skull that I was able to see.

A detective, a crime scene technician, a coroner, a forensic anthropologist, and a forensic dental anthropologist arrived to process the scene. The coroner indicated that the decedent was “likely a black male.” A bag was found underneath the skull with prescription bottles inside belonging to Richard Jordan.

Investigators were unable to positively identify the body, so it was labeled John Doe and transported to MUSC for further evaluation.