Two arrested for murder of SC man reported missing in 2020

Crime & Safety

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (WCBD) – The Georgetown County Sheriff’s Office (GCSO) on Wednesday announced the arrest of two people for the murder of a man reported missing in 2020.

Harry Barkley, 35, of Kingstree was reported missing to the Georgetown and Williams County Sheriff’s Offices in August of 2020. In September of 2020, investigators found Barkley’s vehicle in the Black River at Chavis Landing.

In May of 2020, human remains were found in a remote wooded area of Williamsburg County.

Though investigators believed the remains were Barkley’s, it took until August 25, 2021 for DNA evidence to confirm the identity; it was a match.

Over the course of the investigation, investigators identified suspects in Barkley’s disappearance. Upon confirmation that the remains were Barkley’s, warrants were issued for Eric Wade Hempel (21) and Shelby Francis Makaley Ashby (21), both of Georgetown.

Hempel was located in Tennessee following a high-speed police chase. He is awaiting extradition back to South Carolina on charges of murder and possession of a weapon during a violent crime.

Ashby is being charged with accessory to murder after the fact for assisting with moving and disposing Barkley’s remains.

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