October 21, 2014

Security guards killed at vacant Greenville County textile plant identified

The Greenville County Coroner’s Office has now identified two men whose bodies were found outside a vacant Greenville County textile equipment plant early Friday morning.

The two were identified as 53-year-old Richard Ellison and 65-year-old Bobby Wood. Coroner Parks Evans said both men were security guards at the shuttered JD Hollingsworth on Wheels plant south of Greenville. Evans said both had multiple stab and gunshot wounds. Greenville County Sheriff’s deputies said they do not have any suspects at this time.

Deputies said a newspaper carrier spotted the bodies around 3:36 a.m. Friday and called 911.

The 60-acre Hollingsworth property is located off Highway 276 between Mauldin and the Greenville city limits, near Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). The facility closed in 2009, but the company maintains 24-hour security at the site. Both bodies were found near a guard shack at the gate, according to Fox Carolina.

Master Deputy Jonathan Smith said it appeared the murders occurred during a shift change, as typically only one guard mans the gate at a time. Smith said K-9 units and deputies searched the property for any evidence connected to the deaths.

“We understand the concerns from citizens,” he said, asking anyone who had seen anything suspicious in the area to call Crimestoppers at (843) 23-CRIME. “We’d just remind everybody to be mindful.”

In a statement released Friday, Hollingsworth Funds said both men were longtime employees. Woods had been an employee at the site since 1967, while Ellison had worked there since 1998.