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Horry County Assistant Coroner and woman arrested for murder in missing persons case

According to the report, the two were arrested in connection to the death of a missing man.

HORRY COUNTY, S.C. — Two people, including the Assistant Horry County Coroner, have been charged in connection with the death of missing man Gregory Vincent Rice.

Christopher Allen Dontell, 37, of Conway, and Meagan Marie Jackson, 35, both face charges of murder. 

According to the Horry County Police Department, on Nov. 11, members of the Horry County Police Department Criminal Investigations Division arrested Dontell and Jackson in connection to the missing person investigation. 

Rice was reported missing on Oct. 5 and was believed to have been head from last on Oct. 2. Following Rice going missing, multiple bloodhound searches were conducted and search warrants served in an effort to locate Rice, according to the police department. 

According to the report, a body was discovered in the early hours of Nov. 8 and was determined to be Rice. 

As a result of the investigation, Dontell and Jackson were identified as suspects in the disappearance and murder of Gregory Rice. Both Dontell and Jackson were arrested and transported to J. Reuben Long Detention Center, where they remain at this time. 

The investigation is active and ongoing. Additional charges are likely.

The Horry County Coroner’s Office released a statement following the arrest of Assistant Horry County Coroner Chris Dontell. According to the coroner's office, Dontell was terminated on Nov. 9. 

“On or about October 5 my Chief Deputy, Tamara Willard, was briefed on the disappearance of Greg Rice by HCPD and informed that Deputy Coroner Chris Dontell would be questioned with regard to the investigation. Permission was given to examine Chris Dontell’s county phone and vehicle at that time.

On October 23 Chris Dontell was informed by HCPD that he was officially under investigation in this disappearance at which point he was suspended immediately from Horry County Coroner’s Office (through verbal interaction), denied access to all county property and promptly removed from the call schedule.

On Monday November 9 Mr. Dontell was terminated from Horry County Coroner’s Office, due to the nature of this ongoing investigation nothing further will be released from this office. Please direct all questions to HCPD.

- Robert Edge, Coroner”

Credit: Horry County Detention Center
Christopher Dontell, Meagan Jackson

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