Body found during search for missing UofSC student

“This is not the outcome we were hoping for,” Sheriff Leon Lott said.

Body found during search for missing UofSC student
Samuel Laundon, 19, was reported missing around 1 p.m. Saturday. (Source: RCSD)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A body of a man matching the description of a missing University of South Carolina student was found Sunday, deputies confirmed.

UofSC student Samuel Laundon, 19, was reported missing around 1 p.m. Saturday, according to the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

The body was found in shrubbery in the Vulcan Materials Company Quarry around 5 p.m. Sunday, deputies said.

Crews had been searching the area after being told Laundon was with friends near the quarry in the Olympia-Granby area when they got lost around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Laundon jumped the fence “in hopes of reaching his destination faster,” officials said.

His friends said he didn’t climb back over the fence when they got a ride home. However, deputies were not told about what happened or informed Laundon was missing until 1 p.m. Saturday.

Officials scoured the area with a plane, helicopter, drone and K-9 units. The Columbia Fire Department also assisted with the search.

“This is not the outcome we were hoping for,” Sheriff Leon Lott said. “I’m sorry it ended this way. We are praying for him and his family.”

While the body was found matching his description, officials can’t confirm the person found dead is Laundon, or confirm how the person died, until an autopsy is conducted by the Richland County Coroner’s Office.

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