Man shot, passerby found body in soybean field in Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, S.C. — Farris Short, 63, known as Mickey, was found dead in a field of soybeans off Hurst Cemetery Lane on Monday.

Brian Rivers was driving down the dirt road taking his 5-year-old daughter to a summer school class when he saw the body next to a pickup truck.

“As soon as I topped the hill, I (saw) him and I thought, 'Oh my goodness,'” Rivers told Channel 9.

He didn't want his daughter to see the body so he played a video for her on his cellphone after calling 911.

"I didn't even have time to think. I just called the police," he said.

Short's body was found on the ground next to his Toyota Tacoma pickup on the driver's side.  All of the doors were closed and the truck was not running.

Sheriff's investigators believe Short was shot inside his truck, then pulled out to the ground.

They did not find shell casings on the scene but placed several plastic markers by tire tracks, possibly left by a shooter’s vehicle.

The area is extremely rural with few homes around. A neighbor told Channel 9 she heard a gunshot around 11 p.m. Sunday.

Sheriff's deputies blocked off Hurst Cemetery Lane where it meets Wamble Hill Road outside Chesterfield.

They were there nearly six hours, along with South Carolina Law Enforcement Division agents, collecting evidence.

Sheriff Jay Brooks said another neighbor had information that helped them nail down a timeline.

"We had some people last night who said they came home from work (at) about (2:30 a.m.) and that truck was there at (2:30 a.m.) but (the witness) was a female. She was by herself and she certainly wasn't going to stop," Brooks said.

Rivers drove by about five hours later and still can't believe what he saw.

"It hits close to home.  It could happen to anybody," he said.

He did not recognize Short or the pickup truck.

Brooks expects this could be a difficult case because there are so few neighbors around, and Hurst Cemetery Road is a dead end, gravel road that few people travel along.

Late Monday, deputies were questioning family members and people who knew Short.

An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday in Newberry.

Deputies hope to have more information about the crime then.

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