CRIME
02/13/2012 09:30 pm ET Updated Feb 13, 2012

Dara Watson Missing: Cops Suspect Suicide In Fiance Shooting

South Carolina police are searching for the fiance of a Mount Pleasant man who they suspect committed suicide Friday inside the couple's home. The missing woman's burned-out SUV has been found, but there's no sign of her whereabouts.

Dara Lee Watson, 30, was reported missing by her boss at Verge Solutions on Friday morning. Watson works in the company's accounting department. When police contacted Watson's fiancee, David Hedrick, 34, he said he and Watson had gotten into an argument, authorities said. He said she left Tuesday and hadn't returned. Hedrick said it was not unusual for Watson to take off after an argument, but he was concerned, police said.

At about 12:30 p.m., friends of Hedrick called police and reported finding him dead inside the home he shared with Watson. A 9 mm semi-automatic handgun was found near Hedrick's body.

The Charleston County Coroner has confirmed Hedrick, owner of a bail bond business, died from a single gunshot to the head. An official cause of death has not been released, but according to Patch, police reports indicate his death was likely suicide.

Authorities discovered Watson's burned-out 2006 GMC Envoy SUV abandoned in the Francis Marion Forest on Wednesday, two days before she was reported missing.

Over the weekend, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office searched a five-mile radius from the SUV. Nothing of interest was found, a sheriff's spokesman said.

Watson has not used her cellphone since Wednesday evening, police said in a statement. Phone records indicate the phone was using a tower near Venning Road in Mount Pleasant. A message was sent to her boss that night "stating she was fine," police said.

Watson's mother told police she last saw her daughter on Feb. 6, when she stopped for a visit at the family's business in Boone, N.C.

Mount Pleasant police said they are treating Watson's case as a missing person investigation, but haven't ruled out foul play.

Watson is described as a white female, 5 feet, 4 inches tall and 127 pounds. She has brown hair and blue eyes. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mount Pleasant police at 843-884-4176.

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