Deputies in Lancaster, South Carolina responded to a call Saturday afternoon after a group of children found a badly decomposed human body in the woods.
The victim was identified as Rickey James, a local resident who was last seen in October. Police believe that David Adam Pate lured James into the wooded area and killed him.
It is unclear why police believe Pate committed this crime, or why he deposited the body in an area known to be frequented by children.
Pate is well-known to police, and is in fact already in custody on unrelated disorderly conduct charges. They had to wait until an autopsy was performed on James’s body before officially charging Pate with the crime.
In an official statement, Sheriff Barry S. Faile said “[o]ur deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. James. We are thankful that we were able to solve this case so quickly. Our investigators did a great job putting this case together. We suspected Pate almost immediately but had to wait on lab results to prove it. We are thankful he is in jail where he belongs.”
Since its release, Pate’s mugshot has gone viral due to the unique combination of his surgically forked tongue and amateurish tattoos.
[Image via Lancaster County Office of the Sheriff]