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CPD, SLED still investigating woman's death in Walmart parking lot
Walmart Crime Scene (for print)
Camden Police Department (CPD) officers, including Chief Joe Floyd (center, signing document), await the arrival of a S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agent on Wednesday afternoon while investigating the death a 54-year-old Kershaw woman in the Walmart parking lot off West DeKalb Street. Arriving officers found the woman’s body on the ground on the other side of the white car to the right. Kershaw County Coroner David West said the woman, who worked at Walmart. - photo by Martin L. Cahn/C-I

The Camden Police Department (CPD) and S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are investigating the death of a 54-year-old Kershaw woman who was found in her car in Walmart’s parking lot off West DeKalb Street on Wednesday afternoon.

Around 9:30 a.m. Thursday morning, Kershaw County Coroner David West released a statement identifying the deceased as Melissa Watson Hopkins, 54, of the Kershaw area, who was a Walmart employee.

“Kershaw County 911 received a call at 1:59 p.m. Wednesday that a woman in a car at the Walmart parking lot appeared to be sick,” West said in the press release. “When EMS arrived on the scene, they found a woman on the ground beside her car where some people had taken her out and started CPR. It appeared she had been shot.”

West said Hopkins’ body was taken from the scene for an autopsy, and that her death is still under investigation by his office, the CPD and SLED.

During a brief telephone interview early Thursday morning, Camden Police Chief Joe Floyd said officers and SLED worked the scene until around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday because SLED processed the victim’s car at the scene rather than having it moved.

Neither West nor Floyd released any other details.

At least five CPD units responded to Walmart on Wednesday along with an ambulance that left the scene between 2:15 and 2:30 p.m. The CPD used several of its vehicles, as well as a blue length of fabric and, later, an orange tarp, to block Hopkins’ body from public view.

At one point, officers were concerned about two women videotaping the scene. It turned out police and West wanted to see the images to determine if they would assist or hinder the investigation. Officers later released the women from the scene.

Floyd said the investigation into Hopkins’ death was still ongoing as of Thursday afternoon.