Foul-smelling water led to discovery of woman's body in well -

Foul-smelling water led to discovery of woman's body in well

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By Daniel Fredman By Daniel Fredman

ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) - On Saturday, Anderson County, South Carolina investigators found Patricia Freeman's body in a nearly forty-foot deep well off of Boseman Road. Freeman had been reported missing by her family weeks earlier.


The owner of the well, Perry Pruitt, was arrested and charged with unlawful removal of a dead body.

Freeman's brother John Freeman said Pruitt and his sister had a relationship and that he suspected Pruitt was involved in her disappearance.  

"I was flabbergasted," Freeman said. "I said how could he. I felt angry, disappointed, sad." 

Tony Johnson rents a house next to Pruitt's that Pruitt owned and that receives water from Pruitt's well. Johnson said shortly after moving in he complained to Pruitt about the water at his house.

"It had a foul odor," Johnson said. "But he (Pruitt) said it was just stagnant water."

Johnson said after various treatments failed to fix the problem he asked Pruitt to take a water sample from the well to have it tested and that led to a confrontation and to Pruitt shutting off the water. Johnson said at that point he called deputies.

"Once the officer saw how he (Pruitt) was acting he called detectives," Johnson said.

A few hours later Johnson said detectives told him they had found a body in the well.

"I was speechless. My wife was devastated," Johnson said.

Johnson said his luckily his family had not consumed any of the well water because of the smell but had taken showers with it.

"It's just disturbing," Johnson said.

On Thursday, John Freeman met with Johnson to thank him for helping find his sister.

"He is a Godsend," Freeman said. "I have made a friend for life."

Pruitt has been released from jail after posting bond.

Deputies say the investigation into Patricia Freeman's death is ongoing and are asking anyone with information to call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-888-CRIME-SC.

The Anderson county coroner's office said it was waiting for test results as of Thursday to determine how Freeman died.

A memorial for Freeman will be held on Friday at 3 p.m. at the Marcus Brown Funeral Home in Anderson.

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