Crime & Public Safety

16-year-old Beaufort student found dead in marsh at area boat ramp, police say

A 16-year-old Beaufort teen was found in the marsh near the Grays Hill boat landing in Beaufort Friday morning, according to a news release from the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office.

Emergency medical personnel pronounced the teen dead at the scene just before 9 a.m., the release said. He was identified as Marcus Graves of Beaufort, according to a subsequent release from the Sheriff’s Office.

Graves was a junior at Battery Creek High School in Beaufort, according to Jim Foster, spokesperson for the Beaufort County School District.

He was last seen around 10 Thursday night, according to Maj. Bob Bromage of the Sheriff’s Office. He was reported by his family as a runaway, he said.

The cause of Graves’ death is not apparent, Bromage said, meaning there were no clear physical signs of cause of death, such as a gunshot wound.

Sheriff’s deputies are asking anyone with information about Graves’ death to call (843) 524-2777.

The Beaufort County Coroner’s Office is scheduling a forensic autopsy to be performed Sunday at the Medical University of South Carolina to determine of the cause and manner of Graves’ death, according to the release.

Forensic autopsies, also called medicolegal examinations, differ from clinical autopsies because they include an investigation into “sudden, unexpected, suspicious, mysterious or un-witnessed,” deaths, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes of Health.

Katherine Kokal moved to South Carolina in 2018 after graduating from the University of Missouri and loves everything about the Lowcountry that isn’t a Palmetto Bug. She has won South Carolina Press Association awards for in-depth and government beat reporting. On the weekends, you can find Kati doing yoga and hiking Pinckney Island.