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Police: Belk employee found dead in store bathroom was there for 4 days

Black Friday Shopping
Posted at 2:45 PM, Sep 21, 2022

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities in South Carolina say a Belk Department Store employee died in the store's public bathroom, but her body wasn't discovered for four days.

According to Columbia Police, the Associated Press and CBS affiliate WLTX reported that the store's janitor Bessie Durham was last seen Thursday at work.

On Monday, Durham's body was found by another store employee in a bathroom stall around 8 p.m., the Lexington County Coroner's Office told WLTX.

Deputy Police Chief Melron Kelly told WIS-TV her cleaning cart was sitting out of the bathroom.

The news outlets reported that Durham's body was found shortly after her family reported her missing.

According to the news outlets, foul play is not suspected.

WLTX reported an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Kelly said the store was open during normal business hours those four days, so police will investigate if anyone was negligent, the news outlets reported.

“We’re still working with the store to find out what their process is to closing down the store, inspecting the store and things of that nature,” Kelly told the news station.