Two people -- including a 26-year-old Bluffton woman -- were found dead late Friday in a ditch outside a home on Purrysburg Road in Hardeeville, according to authorities.
The bodies of Dezmond Brown, 25, of Hardeeville, and his girlfriend, Octavia Scott, 26, of Bluffton were found with gunshot wounds to their heads near a vehicle that crashed into a tree outside the home, said Hardeeville Police Chief Richard Nagy.
A passerby discovered the bodies and reported the incident as a crash before discovering that the victims also had been shot, authorities said. The vehicle belonged to an unnamed Hilton Head Island resident who had loaned the car to the couple.
Nagy said the discovery of the bodies outside the vehicle is only one of several puzzling aspects to the department's ongoing investigation, Nagy said.
"We have footprints outside the vehicle that match those of the male victim," Nagy said. "We also found blood and other evidence inside the vehicle indicating that something happened before the crash, which occurred as the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed. It's a very odd incident but we have several promising leads."
Nagy said both deaths are being treated as homicides.
Authorities are awaiting the results of autopsies to determine whether Brown and Scott were killed in the collision or by the gunshot wounds.
Nagy said the autopsies are scheduled to be performed next week at the Medical University of South Carolina. The S.C. Law Enforcement Division is assisting in the investigation.