An American man has died of “cardiac arrest” in the yard of his home in the state of South Carolina while burying a woman he had strangled, local authorities have reported.

Police officials responded to reports of an unconscious man in the southeastern city of Trenton and upon arriving at the home found 60-year-old Joseph McKinnon dead, Edgefield County Sheriff Jody Rowland has confirmed. and coroner David Burnett, in a statement released by local media.

“McKinnon showed no signs of trauma and it is suspected that he died of natural causes,” the statement said.

“While the death was being investigated and relatives notified, a second body was located in a newly opened grave. Patricia Ruth Dent, 65, from the same address, who appeared to have died of a crime.”

Dent was found tied up and wrapped in garbage bags inside the pit. Autopsies confirmed the causes of both deaths. Evidence and witness statements indicate that McKinnon attacked Dent at her home.

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