Coroner reveals new details about UofSC student’s death

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) – Richland County Executive Naida Rutherford has revealed new details about Michael Keen’s death.

Keen was reported missing on Monday and his body was found near the Vulcan Materials quarry later that day.

According to the coroner, Keen’s death was ruled accidental and there was no indication that his death was a suicide.

According to officials, Keen’s body was found less than a mile from where he went missing.

The cause of death has not yet been released.

The Columbia Police Department announced that an unidentified body was found during the search for a missing UofSC student in a quarry near Rosewood Drive not far from the Olympia-Granby area at the Vulcan Materials quarry.

Officers said they made a tarp on Sunday but made a deeper canvas Monday afternoon; that’s when officials found Keen’s body.

Harris Pastides, Interim President of UofSC offered his condolences to the family of Michael Keen, who was identified Tuesday morning.

“It is always painful to lose a member of our Carolina family, and we know that some of you may want to seek support during this difficult time,” Pastides said.

Vulcan Materials released a statement that, in part, said:

An investigation is underway into the circumstances surrounding the tragedy, so for specific information regarding this incident, I refer you to the police investigating. We do our best to operate this website safely. We use fences, warning signs, fences and barbed wire to keep people out and warn them of dangers. In some areas we have two barbed wire fences. The buffer areas around this area are naturally vegetated and allowed to grow thick to prevent encroachment. This is not a place anyone can enter without proper supervision and training.

family of Michael Keen was on the scene with CPD and CPD victim services on Monday.

The last time Keen’s father heard from him was on Sunday after walking home from J’s Corner Restaurant and Bar.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Michael’s family, the USC family and all affected by this tragedy,” said Coroner Naida Rutherford. “Michael is expected to graduate from University in the next three weeks.”

Last year, the agency of a missing UofSC student, Sam Laundon was found in the quarry.

UofSC officials are encouraging anyone affected by Keen’s departure to seek assistance from mental health services.

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