The Daily Gamecock

Coroner confirms body is missing USC student Michael Keen

The body found in the Vulcan Materials Company quarry on Monday afternoon is missing USC student Michael Keen, according to Richland County Coroner Naida Rutherford. 

"We would ask that the public try to remember that someone lost their son and someone lost their brother and their family member and to please be mindful of the things that they post on social media. Because this family is grieving, and they deserve that respect," Rutherford said.

Rutherford said she doesn't plan to release the cause of death. 

The body was found on Monday afternoon when the Columbia Police Department requested that a State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) helicopter fly above the quarry, WLTX reported.

Keen's parents, Janet and Paul Keen, reported him missing to the Columbia Police Department on Sunday, according to a Columbia Police Department press release

Keen went missing late Saturday night and was last seen at J's Corner Restaurant and Bar, his parents said.

Keen left the restaurant to walk to his house on Florida Street around 8 p.m. on Saturday. Keen last called his father around 11 p.m. and said his phone battery was low.

"Bring him back, please," Keen's father, Paul, told The Daily Gamecock on Sunday night.

Keen was a fourth-year finance student and was set to graduate in December 2021, USC spokesperson Jeff Stensland said in a text on Monday. 

The university extended its sympathies to the family and Carolina community in an email statement sent by interim university president Harris Pastides Tuesday. 

USC student Sam Laundon was found dead in the same quarry last year. He died due to "complications of blunt force trauma," according to former Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

Editor's note: If you or someone you know needs support, call Student Health Services at 803-777-5223 or visit their website.

This story is developing. This article was last updated Nov. 23 at 11:36 a.m. 

Holly Poag contributed to reporting in this article.