Crime & Public Safety

Investigation into shooting death of Bluffton restaurateur continues

The Bluffton home of Johnathan Cherol, 39 Pinecrest Way, in an image taken from video. Cherol was found dead from a single gunshot wound at the home early Oct. 28.
The Bluffton home of Johnathan Cherol, 39 Pinecrest Way, in an image taken from video. Cherol was found dead from a single gunshot wound at the home early Oct. 28. jmitelman@islandpacket.com

Investigators continued to look into the shooting death of Bluffton restaurateur Johnathan Cherol over the weekend and have still not identified a suspect as of Monday morning, according to the Bluffton Police Department.

"We continue to look at leads," Maj. Joseph Manning said. "Our investigators worked throughout the weekend. We have not yet identified a suspect."

Cherol, 33, was found dead of a single gunshot wound inside his home at 39 Pinecrest Way around 12:45 a.m. Oct. 28, Lt. Joseph Babkiewicz said in a department news release.

Maj. Joseph Manning, deputy chief of the Bluffton Police Department, says multiple law enforcement agencies are involved in the search for a suspect in the shooting death of 33-year-old Johnathan Cherol sometime late Oct. 27 or early Oct. 28.

Manning said the department is not ruling out any possibilities as it investigates Cherol's death and is being assisted by investigators from the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and S.C. Law Enforcement Division.

Manning also said a murder weapon has not been found and investigators do not know if Cherol knew his attacker.

Cherol was an active member of the local restaurant scene and co-owner of the recently closed Pepper's Old Town in Bluffton.

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The May River Road restaurant had opened in early 2015 as a revamp of the original Pepper's Porch, replacing another restaurant that was also co-owned by Cherol, called Jack's Old Town.

Anyone with information on the shooting can call the Bluffton Police Department at 843- 706-4560.

Follow Caitlin Turner on Twitter at twitter.com/Cait_E_Turner.

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