BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WSFA) - The body of a Montgomery man who had been missing since March has been located in South Carolina. Now an investigation is underway to determine his cause of death.
Philip Rawlings, Jr., 42, was reported missing in Montgomery on March 31. The report indicated he had a medical condition that requires attention, but nearly two months passed without any developments.
That changed on May 20, when deputies with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina, located about 400 miles away on the East Coast, responded to a report of a vehicle that had been abandoned for more than three days.
After running the license plate, deputies discovered it belonged to the missing man and began a search for him. Search dogs and an aviation unit were brought in to assist but without success.
Three days later, kayakers in the water off of St. Helena Island found a body that was recovered by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. The sheriff’s office said the body’s discovery was not far from that of the abandoned vehicle.
An autopsy was ordered, but the cause and manner of death remain unclear pending results of toxicology and other medical studies, the sheriff’s office said.