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Sound Off: Safe in the Francis Marion Forest?

Recent discoveries trouble residents.

The headline at Post and Courier's website Thursday: Francis Marion Forest becoming depository for bodies.

The thought likely crossed many minds on Tuesday when the inside a Chevy Suburban.

Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury said Wednesday that and his death was ruled a homicide.

The Post and Courier's Andrew Knapp spoke with neighbors about the discovery, along with the double-homicide last month of Dana Woods and June Guerry. The two young women were shot to death and left in two different spots in the forest.

"When we first came here, this was such a closed community, but that has changed," Maureen Sturgis told the reporter. "It's not the place people usually think about for criminal activity, but it’s happening."

In February, police discovered the remains of Dara Watson in the National Forest. The Mount Pleasant woman was killed by her fiance in their shared home and then buried in a shallow grave on a dirt road.

Tell us what you think. Is the remote nature of the Francis Marion bringing crime into the woods. What can law enforcement do to protect the area?

Patch.com September 13, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I've been wanting to go for a hike up there, especially since the weather is a little better now. You do kind of wonder, with all that's been going on, if you might walk up on something.
Fisher September 13, 2012 at 04:45 PM
I'm still going to go. I love how peaceful it is. I think you could walk for days and days and never see anyone. As awful as it sounds, I think the recent incidents are mostly cases of people going in, quickly disposing of remains and then leaving. But you do wonder if people are doing other illegal activity there. I remember reading a story about video cameras being discovered by a hiker a while back. It was part of a surveillance operation.
Ken Young September 14, 2012 at 01:32 PM
How about some manned gates and only daylight visiting hours. I know this comes with a cost. But, it's worth it to try and stop the crime in this beautiful place, so we can all share it without fear. Ken
Ambassador September 15, 2012 at 08:14 PM
Hey Ken Young: Now let me get this straight, we should have manned gates on an open extremely large national forest with countless ways to enter and pay them. You might consider the fact that the bad guys do not enter that way. We should, of course, tell these same bad guys that they only can enter during daylight visiting hours. What world do you live in? As far as safety is concerned, I have been at the rifle range in the forest and it is in the middle of nowhere. If I were a bad guy looking for free firearms, I would hide behind a tree, shoot the good guys, take their guns and just leave. One time up there was enough for me.
Ambassador September 16, 2012 at 12:13 PM
Hey Fisher: So you love it so much because it is so peaceful and you "think" it is only people disposing of bodies. Have you ever heard of situational awareness? The video cameras you "remember" were put there by the feds to monitor, if possible, what is going on in the forest--instead of this being a reasonable response to a problem given the fact that the forest is a big as it is, it boiled down to some idiots who took the cameras and complained about their "privacy". You keep going there and enjoy the "peace"; I can only hooe that your very naive attitude will not, someday, disturb your "peace" "your body disposal thoughts" in a very violent and life-changing way. There are "what ifs", no matter where you decide to walk but some are more obvious than others and those woods are a violent confrontation waiting to happen because of their expanse and solitude--situational awareness would or should wake you up to these potentials.

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