Beaufort News

Coroner: Man killed himself before Seabrook fire

A 41-year-old Aiken County man shot himself to death before being found inside a Seabrook home destroyed by fire earlier this week, according to the Beaufort County Coroner's Office.

Before his body was found, he was a suspect in the arson of his estranged wife's home in Aiken County.

An autopsy at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston indicated Joe Travis Pryor died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Beaufort County deputy coroner Janet Horton.

Pryor's body was discovered Sunday by firefighters after they extinguished a blaze that destroyed a home the man owned on Sea Crest Court in Seabrook.

Pryor was identified by dental records, Horton said.

The county Fire Scene Investigation Team, Sheriff's Office and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division still are investigating the cause of the blaze.

Before committing suicide, Pryor was suspected of setting fire to the home of his estranged wife.

No one was home at the time of the fire, which investigators believe started in the master bedroom. No injuries were reported.

The couple were divorcing, and Pryor reportedly told neighbors he was going to hurt himself, according to an Aiken County Sheriff's Office report.