Crime & Public Safety

Missing man with cancer found dead after weeks of searching, Hardeeville police say

Hardeeville Police Department

Hardeville police found the body of a missing elderly man in a pine thicket early Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Sam Woodward said.

The department has been looking for Eugene Leffler, 70, since he was reported missing on Nov. 21.

The cancer patient left his home off Sunset Circle on foot about 9:30 p.m. He reportedly was heading to a nearby gas station to get a pack of cigarettes.

Woodward said a S.C. Law Enforcement Division helicopter spotted Leffler’s body in a 40-acre pine thicket between I-95 and Ulmer Street.

There was nothing to indicate foul play, Woodward said. However, he said an autopsy will be completed to determine the cause of death.

Woodward said police and dogs searched the area that Leffler was found multiple times.

“We checked every tip out. We had dogs out and personnel,” Woodward said. “We were hoping we would find him alive and find him well.”