EUTAWVILLE, S.C. — Investigators have released the name of a suspect accused of killing two people in Orangeburg County and taking a one-year-old child on Thursday.
The Orangeburg County Sheriff's Office said it had arrested 45-year-old Antonio Smalls of Monks Corner for the murder of Raymond and Jean Ann Brown after their bodies were found in the doorway of a Wesgar Avenue home about five miles southeast of Eutawville.
The crime was described as a "senseless act" by Sheriff Leroy Ravenell in Friday's update.
"As I said Thursday, you can expect me to turn loose my entire agency to find anyone who does something as heinous as this," he added.
According to a report filed by a deputy who responded to the scene, keys were still in the door lock and a grocery bag hanging on the door when he arrived. The victims were just inside the door to the home and confirmed deceased by arriving emergency medical services personnel.
Family members told the deputy that both victims had been missing since earlier in the day when they went to Charleston for Raymond's doctor's appointment.
Deputies also learned at this point that they had a one-year-old child with them the last time they were seen. Investigators soon found out that neither the child nor the SUV they were traveling in, a black Buick Enclave, were at the scene.
Warrants for Smalls allege that he kidnapped the child after committing the murders and then abandoned him and a vehicle outside a BP gas station in St. George. The warrant said the child was discovered in the extreme heat of the car by residents and law enforcement. The child was turned over to the Department of Social Services in Dorchester County before being returned to his family, records show.
Smalls, who was found in North Charleston, now faces two counts of murder, two counts of possession of a weapon during a violent crime, and one count of kidnapping. It's unclear when Smalls will appear before a judge for a bond hearing.
The sheriff said on Friday that despite the arrest, this investigation isn't over.