Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry
Contact Crime Stoppers
Crime Stoppers FAQ
Donate to Crime Stoppers
Submit a Tip to Crime Stoppers
Home  |  News  |  Sheriff's office: Meth lab found in deadly Goose Creek apartment fire

Sheriff's office: Meth lab found in deadly Goose Creek apartment fire

Share |
En Espanol

Saturday, June 2, 2012

GOOSE CREEK, SC (WCSC) - The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office says that a meth lab was found at a Goose Creek apartment building where three people were found dead following a fire and explosion on Thursday.

The news follows Coroner Bill Salisbury's announcement of a third body found in the fire shortly after midnight Friday morning. Authorities say they were going through rubble at the Pine Harbour Apartment Complex when they discovered the body.

The coroner says that the body suffered from 100 percent thermal burns. An autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Investigators returned to the crime scene Friday to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Salisbury identified the victims as 69-year-old Joseph Raeth, 19-year-old Morgan Abernathy, and 4-year-old Samuel Garbe. Salisbury said the cause of death would be released after all the test results are in.

Authorities say the bodies of Raeth and Garbe were found first following a fire that broke out around 12:30 p.m. in a unit in the Pine Harbour Apartment Complex on Harbour Lake Drive.

The third victim, Abernathy, was found in an adjacent apartment unit.

Investigators say that one woman also jumped out of a window to escape the fire. She was treated and released for a leg injury.

Berkeley County Sheriff's Office spokesman Dan Moon said the fire is being treated as a crime scene. The investigation is being turned over to the DEA and SLED has also been asked to help with the case.

Moon said Friday investigators have questioned one man but he has since been released, however, several others are being questioned.

Moon also said investigators did not expect to find any other victims among the rubble.

According to a witness on the scene, there was a loud explosion and she saw smoke coming out of her neighbor's apartment. She said she saw two men coughing and yelling for people to come out of the burning apartment.

"It's a crime scene,. We're considering it a crime scene right now at the moment until otherwise," Moon said. "The fire department is in control at the moment. They will release it to us. They are being very careful too because we've got it roped off as a crime scene. Hopefully any evidence in that respect will be protected."

Earlier in the day, the entrance to the apartment complex remained blocked off as police redirected traffic in that area. Officials have not confirmed any information regarding a possible explosion at this time.

Thick, black smoke could be seen from nearby roadways as firefighters battled the flames.

According to the Red Cross, 16 units were destroyed, affecting a total of 46 people. Those displaced in the fire are encouraged to go to the Goose Creek Recreation Center for food and assistance.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 554-1111, toll free at 1-888-CRIME-SC, or online at Texters can send anonymous tips to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPCSL". Text STOP to 274637 to cancel. Text HELP to 274637 for help. Msg&Data Rates May Apply.


Notice about comments:
Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. Crime Stoppers does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry. If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website.

Comments left on this site are NOT ANONYMOUS.

Crime Stoppers does not take information on crimes here or via standard email because we cannot guarantee your anonymity. Any information sent to us through comments will NOT be acted upon and will be removed. Please call 554-1111 or 1-888-CRIME-SC, or use our online tip form to give information anonymously to Crime Stoppers.

More Lowcountry Alerts

Find us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe via RSS Get updates by email. Connect with Crime Stoppers

DO NOT attempt to approach, detain, follow or arrest any individual based on this web site's information. As information becomes dated it may become less accurate. Because some wanted persons are being sought for crimes of violence, or are known to be armed, all wanted persons should be considered dangerous. If you have information regarding the identity or whereabouts of any wanted person immediately contact Crime Stoppers or notify your local law enforcement agency.

Site Design & Maintenance:

© Copyright Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry. All Rights Reserved.