Coroner: Body Found Near Fairfield Road Victim of Homicide

The body of a 21-year-old Columbia man found Sunday morning near Fairfield Road was the victim of homicide, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Monday.

Watts said James J. Shepard, of Loggerhead Drive in Columbia, was found around 9 a.m. Sunday in a wooded area off Wessinger Road by a pair of hunters who were clearing the land in preparation for the upcoming deer season. Shepard died from a gunshot wound to the head, Watts said.

Time of death had not been determined at press time.