Beaufort News

Grooms found dead

William Grooms
William Grooms Bluffton Police Department

The investigation continues Monday into the death of a Bluffton man charged last month with stealing more than $10,000 from the Friends of Bluffton Dog Parks group, according to a Bluffton Police Department spokeswoman.

William Grooms, 42, was found dead in the garage of his Bluffton Park home by his wife, Amanda Mitchell-Grooms, around 9:40 a.m. Sunday, Bluffton Police Capt. Angela McCall-Tanner said.

Grooms' body was sent to the Medical University of South Carolina for an autopsy, McCall-Tanner said. She said the police department is awaiting information about the cause of death, which is being treated as “unnatural,” she said.

Attempts Monday morning to get information from the Medical University of South Carolina were unsuccessful.

Grooms was charged June 11 with allegedly stealing more than $10,000 from the Friends of Bluffton Dog Park, the nonprofit organization he was president of until his embezzlement was discovered.

It wasn't revealed how much Grooms stole from the nonprofit group, though board members said after his arrest the organization had nearly reached its $40,000 goal following a recent pledge drive.

Grooms became president of the organization in 2011, when members seeking new fundraising ideas voted in an almost entirely new board of directors. As president, Grooms used his signing authority over the group's bank account to steal and spend the money, police said.

Two days after his arrest, Grooms reported to Bluffton police that he had been stabbed on the front porch of his Ninth Avenue home. He was treated for a non-life-threatening injury.

No suspects were ever identified and no witnesses could corroborate his description of his alleged attacker, according to a news release.

Reporter Brian Heffernan contributed to this report.

Related content:

Bluffton man charged with stealing from dog park group tells police he was stabbed, June 14, 2013

Bluffton dog park group's president charged with stealing money, June 11, 2013