Body of Sumter man found in Lake Marion

Police: Death is being ruled a homicide


Law enforcement from three counties are investigating what has been deemed a homicide after a 24-year-old Sumter man was found dead in Lake Marion last week.

The body of Jerry Lamars Johnson was discovered in the lake with a gunshot wound on Wednesday, April 25, according to Ken Bell, public information officer for the Sumter County Sheriff's Office. He was reported missing the day before, and a tip was called in that something had happened.

Lake Marion rests in the territory of five counties, but the Orangeburg Coroner's Office took possession of the body because it was found in the county's jurisdiction. A late-afternoon call to the coroner's office about the status of an autopsy or whether the body has been released to the family was not answered. Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said the body was in the Orangeburg coroner's jurisdiction.

While the nature of the death has been ruled homicide, exactly where it happened remains under investigation, Bell said.

Bell said it did not appear, however, that Johnson was shot at the lake right where he was found.

The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office is jointly investigating with the Sumter County Sheriff's Office because Johnson is from Sumter and with the Clarendon County Sheriff's Office because the drive from Sumter to Lake Marion goes through Clarendon.

Bell said the three agencies are sharing notes throughout the day.

"We have some persons of interest," Sumter County sheriff Anthony Dennis said. "But no arrests have been made. We certainly want to bring justice to Mr. Johnson's family. The investigators from all three jurisdictions have been working long hours to bring closure to Mr. Johnson's family."