Joint task force investigating 'suspicious' death
Monday, July 15, 2013 5:52 AM
Greenwood County's Violent Crimes Task Force is still investigating the circumstances surrounding an elderly man's death after authorities found his body in a Greenwood condominium Sunday night.
Greenwood County Coroner Sonny Cox identified the deceased as Phillip Joseph Baer, 68, of 1522 Parkway, Apt. E-1, Greenwood.
Dr. Brett Woodard performed an autopsy on Baer on Monday morning in Anderson. Cox ruled the cause of death to be natural and said the autopsy showed Baer died of heart failure.
According to a release from the Greenwood County Sheriff's Office, officers responded to Baer's residence at about 8:15 p.m. Sunday in reference to a possible death. Once they arrived, officers located him inside. Officials initially considered the death "suspicious" prior to the findings of the autopsy results Monday afternoon. Cox noted pathologists estimated Baer died sometime in the four-hour window between 10 p.m. Friday and 2 a.m. Saturday.
According to a Greenwood County incident report, Baer's son came to check on the man and found him lying on the living room floor of the condo. He told officers he'd last spoken to his father sometime Thursday afternoon and had been unable to get in touch with him on the phone since then. A neighbor at the complex told investigators she saw Baer at his apartment about 9 p.m. Friday.Family members said the living room in which the man's body was found was in disarray as if there was a struggle there. Officers also determined a 32-inch flat screen television and a laptop were stolen from that room, and discovered Baer's light blue single-cab Ford Ranger pickup truck missing from the parking lot. Investigators located the vehicle early Monday morning on Dallas Court in the city.
GCSO officials issued a press statement late Monday afternoon indicating the VCTF - a newly-formed multi-jurisdictional task force composed of city officers and county deputies - will continue to investigate the case. Officials are encouraging anyone with information on details about the incident to call Capt. Nick Futch, lead investigator for the Greenwood Police Department, at 942-8406.