Columbia, SC

A 63-year-old Employee Lay Dead in the Bathroom for 4 Days


How is this possible?

In a Belk department store in Columbia, South Carolina, a 63-year-old janitor lay dead inside.

Store surveillance saw the elder employee entering the bathroom. Her cleaning cart was still outside the bathroom stall.

According to The Independent:

Bessie Durham, who worked as a janitor at the Belk died after entering a bathroom at the store inside the city’s Columbiana Center on Thursday, the Associated Press reported.
Columbia Deputy Police Chief Melron Kelly told WIS-TV that a family member reported Ms Durham missing, which lead to a search for the woman.
The department store was open during the four days that Ms Durham was missing, although it remains unclear if the public bathroom where her body was located was also in use during the time period.

I repeat, how is this possible?

This store was informed as to the missing status of their employee. Further to that, there was a cleaning cart in the hallway outside the bathroom. Did no one even think to investigate, look around the building a little? What of the supervisor of the maintenance department?

Perhaps the older woman went to work feeling unwell, then entered the bathroom and could not get out. They could have lain there calling for help that ever arrived and subsequently died. But to be dead in a company bathroom for 4 days, how could that go unnoticed?

The body must have begun decomposing by then, this is extremely bizarre. It’s not as if the store was closed, it was open for business each day and this was a public bathroom.

What is the policy of this store regarding closing the shop at the end of the day, do they check for customers that may have gotten themselves lost or even lock or hiding in their bathrooms?

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