FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – The Florence Police Department and the Florence County Coroner's Office are investigating skeletal remains found by city officials at a vacant house in the 500 block of North Wilson Street in Florence Nov. 18 shortly after 11 a.m.
Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken said the remains were taken to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, where they were examined by Forensic Anthropologists and Odontologists.
Through dental records on file with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, officials identified the remains as those of LaKendra S. Powers, who went missing from Florence in April 2008 when she was 16 years old.
WMBF News went to the neighborhood where Power's body was discovered. The woman who lives across the street from the vacant house said she was there the day investigators removed the body. Nikkie Flemmings said, "It was sad, it was scary, because it could have been my daughter, I have an eleven year old. It was just something that really hurts your heart." Flemmings added there is not much activity that goes on at the house, but does see the landlord.
""He comes and cuts the grass you know months at a time, he's not here all the time, but he's here enough to know what's going on at his house, Flemmings said." When she found out it was Power's body found inside, she said it was the last thing she expected. "I have seen her before, a long time ago. I don't know her but I have seen her before. In this area on this side of town, but I know she is my memories."
It could not be determined how long she has been dead. A manner and cause of death are still under investigation. Contact the Florence Police Department or the Florence County Coroner's Office with any information on the case.