Search Suspended in Missing Person Case

The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has suspended a search for a University of South Carolina student, after a man fitting his description was found among shrubbery in the Quarry at Vulcan Materials Company.

Samuel Laundon, 19, was walking home with several friends in the Olympia-Granby area, when they got lost on Saturday around 2:30 a.m. Laundon jumped a fence in hopes of reaching his destination faster. When his friends called a ride-sharing service to take them home, Laundon declined to climb back over.

Authorities were not notified immediately of Laundon actions. On Saturday, around 1 p.m., a report was filed with RCSD that Laundon was missing.

RCSD exhausted all of its resources to search for Laundon in the Olympia-Granby area, including the agency’s plane, helicopter and aerial drones. K-9 units and deputies conducted searches on foot as well. Further, the Columbia Fire Department assisted in searching areas in the Quarry that were difficult to reach by foot and view was obstructed by shrubbery. Ultimately, firefighters found a man meeting Laundon’s description in shrubbery around 5 p.m.

The Richland County Coroner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to confirm the man’s identity and determine his cause of death.
“This is not the outcome we were hoping for,” said Sheriff Lott. “I’m sorry it ended this way. We are praying for him and his family.”