The Daily Gamecock

Unidentified body found in quarry during search for missing USC student

Columbia Police Department officers monitor the streets at night.
Columbia Police Department officers monitor the streets at night.

An unidentified body was found in the Vulcan Materials Company quarry on Monday afternoon during a Columbia Police Department (CPD) search for missing USC student, Michael Keen, a CPD spokesperson said. 

Keen's family is on the scene, according to WIS-TV. The body has not been identified yet. WLTX reported the police confirmed the body is of a white male. 

The Columbia Police Department is working with the Columbia Fire Department and the Richland County Coroner's Office, CPD spokesperson Shawna Washington said in a text to The Daily Gamecock. 

"Today, shortly before 1 p.m., we responded to assist CPD with the recovery of a body that was found at the quarry," Columbia Fire Department spokesperson Mike DeSumma said. 

The Daily Gamecock reached out to and is awaiting a comment from the Richland county coroner. University spokesperson Jeff Stensland said USC does not currently have a comment. 

A spokesperson from the Richland County Sheriff's Department told The Daily Gamecock they would not comment because it is the Columbia Police Department's case. 

Keen's parents, Janet and Paul Keen, reported him missing to the Columbia Police Department on Nov. 21, 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. 

Keen is a fourth-year finance student, Stensland said. 

USC student Sam Laundon was found dead in the 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. 22 at 5:29 p.m.

Holly Poag contributed to reporting in this article. 


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