Police: Woman's Body was Kept in Home for Days

West Columbia, SC (WLTX) - West Columbia Police arrested the husband and son of a West Columbia woman, accusing them of killing her.

Marion Wilkes, 73, and Joseph Cody Wilkes, 23, are both charged with murder in the death of 59-year-old Susan Wilkes. The county coroner says she was stabbed to death.

In bond court Thursday, Marion Wilkes made a surprising statement.

"I don't want any trial," he said. "I'm pleading guilty. I don't want any trial or any lawyer."

After his remark, the judge told him to talk to an attorney and that the confession would not be considered an official guilty plea. The judge then denied bond for he and his son.

"This is not the hardest case we worked, but it's certainly one of the most bizarre," West Columbia Police Chief Dennis Tyndall said.

Tyndall said Susan Wilkes took regular walks around her neighborhood, but last Saturday she was reported missing by her husband.

Tyndall characterized Marion Wilkes' behavior as odd.

"He only called us one time to lead us off in a direction, said 'You might want to look over here a little more,' which was nowhere near where she was found," Tyndall said. "Never called to say 'You got any leads on my wife? Do you know where she's at?Anything I can do?' or 'Where are you at? Can I help?'"

Wednesday, her husband and son were arrested. Tyndall said getting the timeline straight was a hassle with conflicting stories.

"At this point we believe she was murdered at the residence, wrapped up in the canvass in the garage for several days before she was taken to be buried," Tyndall said.

Tyndall said police were taken to the body in the backyard of a house in Little Mountain, which was 30 minutes away from the family's house on Linnett Drive.

"We're still working out those details as to how why and what involvement who had in what, but we know they were both together when she was placed in the car and taken out and buried," Tyndall said.

The motive of the murder is still being pieced together.

Tyndall apologized about little information being put out, saying they had to remain quiet so the case wouldn't be compromised.

"I know the public has wanted to get more information and the media wanted information but as long as we could we needed to not do that as to not mess with the case," Tyndall said.


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