Woman Found Dead in Mall Store Bathroom was an Employee and Had Been There for Four Days!


The body of a woman found in a South Carolina mall bathroom had been there for at least four days!


Columbia, S.C. police investigating the death of a woman found dead in a mall bathroom around 8pm Monday night, have identified the woman as 63-year-old Bessie Durham of Columbia. Reports say that Durham was last seen four days earlier.


According to reports Durham was seen on the store's surveillance cameras entering the restroom around 7am on Thursday September 15. The cameras continued rolling for the rest of the day, and days afterward, but they never show Durham leaving the bathroom.


When Durham, who worked as a mall housekeeper, didn't return home and none of her family could contact her, the family filed a missing person's report on Monday. That report is what lead police detectives to the Belk department store in the Columbiana Centre mall. After checking the surveillance cameras they searched the bathroom and found Durham's body.


Belk issued the following statement:

First and foremost, we send our deepest condolences to the family of Bessie Durham, who was found inside a family restroom at our Columbiana Centre location. Ms. Durham provided housekeeping services through her employer, an outside contractor company that provides cleaning services for the store. We are actively working to piece together what happened. Meanwhile, we have also made counselors available to associates seeking support.

The discovery of Durham's body leaves her family, and local store shoppers, with tons of questions. Many want to know how Durham's body was able to be in the bathroom so long unnoticed? Where was the cleaning crew? Had no one gone into the bathroom over the weekend?


At this time, detectives on the case are investigating Durham's death but, no foul play is suspected. An autopsy has been scheduled for September 22.

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