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‘We loved him dearly’: 22-year-old Hilton Head Prep grad found dead behind Bluffton Target

Missing 22-year-old man found dead behind the Bluffton Target. Here’s what we know

The body of 22-year-old Robert Clark Jr., who's been missing from Hilton Head Island since Monday, was found behind the Target store off of U.S. 278 in Bluffton, S.C., on Thursday, Feb. 21. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is investigating.
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The body of 22-year-old Robert Clark Jr., who's been missing from Hilton Head Island since Monday, was found behind the Target store off of U.S. 278 in Bluffton, S.C., on Thursday, Feb. 21. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office is investigating.

The body of a 22-year-old Hilton Head man who went missing on Monday was found behind a Bluffton store on Thursday, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Bob Bromage said.

Robert Clark Jr. was found dead in a Toyota Tundra pickup parked behind Bluffton Target by a deputy patrolling the area at 9:30 a.m., a news release from the Sheriff’s Office said. The deputy noticed a vehicle matching the description of Clark’s truck and ran the license plate, which was a match for the man’s vehicle.

Police found a handgun in the vehicle, and “it appears that (Clark) died as a result of a gunshot wound,” the release said.

He was last seen at his Legends apartment on Hilton Head on Monday morning, according to a news release. Family members had not heard from Clark since they exchanged text messages on Monday afternoon.

Clark graduated from Hilton Head Prepatory School in 2014, according to Margot Brown, director of development at Prep. He attended Prep from fifth grade throughout high school and was a member of the varsity football team.

“We loved him dearly, and he will be sorely missed by our prep community,” Brown said.

For several hours Thursday afternoon, crime scene tape blocked off the entire back parking lot behind the Target building, located at 1050 Fording Island Road, and two Sheriff’s Office SUVs prevented people from driving by.

Experts at the Medical University of South Carolina will conduct an autopsy “to aid in the determination of the cause and manner” of his death, the release said.

There is no public safety threat at this time, Bromage said.

The Sheriff’s Office encourages anyone with information on this case to contact Sgt. Doug Seifert at 843-255-3414.

Mandy Matney is an award-winning journalist and self-proclaimed shark enthusiast from Kansas. She worked for newspapers in Missouri and Illinois before she realized Midwestern winters are horrible, then moved to Hilton Head in 2016. She is the breaking news editor at the Island Packet.


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