It was not unusual for Henry Lee Brown to leave home for a day or two, but when his family didn't hear from him in four, they knew something was wrong, police say.
Brown's mother, with whom he had been living for over year, told investigators her son had left before but had never been gone that long without calling, according to a police report.
She also said her son liked to drink but that she didn't think he was in any danger, the report filed April 14 said.
Brown, 47, of Beaufort was found dead in a marsh near Water's Edge Court two days after that report was filed, and Beaufort Police continue to search for clues to determine how he came to be in Battery Creek.
Beaufort Police Chief Matt Clancy said a friend of Brown's has come forward and reported that he saw him on April 12, and noted that he showed no signs of distress, authorities said.
Though investigators continue to treat Brown's death as a homicide, Clancy said nothing suggests the man was murdered.
"There is no evidence at this point that indicates his death was intentional," Clancy said.
A medical examiner at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston could not determine a cause of death during an autopsy last week.
The medical examiner also reported finding no signs of physical trauma or any other injuries on Brown's body, according to authorities.
Brown is believed to have been dead for several days before his body was spotted in the marsh by a nearby resident.
Investigators are awaiting results of a toxicology test and other exams that might provide other clues, Clancy said.
Authorities gave no timetable for the release of those results or other findings from the autopsy.
Follow reporter Patrick Donohue at twitter.com/ProtectServeBft.