Woman Found Dead In Department Store Bathroom Was There For 4 Days

The body 63-year-old woman who worked as a janitor in a Belk department store in South Carolina was discovered in a public bathroom on Monday (September 19) night. The Columbia Police Department said Bessie Durham was last seen on Thursday and her family filed a missing person report.

“We were with the family taking a missing person’s report, and once we were on scene and did a little investigating, we did discover the person deceased at the Belk,” said Deputy Chief Melron Kelly.

Many people were shocked that Durham’s body went unnoticed in the public restroom for four days, which included a very busy weekend.

“You wonder why the customers didn’t see it and report it, but you would think, the employees, if she’s still on the clock, would know that and go and check to see where she was,” Beverly Stroman told WIS.

Kelly said that investigators are trying to determine why nobody found her body when they closed the store or cleaned the bathroom.

“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,” he said.

Officials have not determined Durham’s cause of death but said that drug use does not appear to be a factor. An autopsy is scheduled for next week.

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