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UPDATE: Suspect Charged in Murder of Missing Woman Denied Bond

Myranda Whisenant Southern disappeared Aug. 19 from Simpsonville, and was later killed and dumped in a Laurens County field.

Darrell Ervin Raines, Jr.
Darrell Ervin Raines, Jr.

UPDATE: A judge on Friday denied bond for Darrell Ervin Raines, Jr., of Greenville, who is charged in the murder of Myranda Whisenant Southern, who went missing from Simpsonville Aug. 19 and was found in a field in Laurens County a week later.

Raines is currently being held in the Laurens County jail.

According to a report by Fox Carolina, Raines has maintained his innocence in the case, and his parents said they believe he was framed. Authorities allege that Raines met Southern online, then in person about a week before her death. Southern was killed from gunshot to the neck, according to the Laurens County Coroner.

So far, authorities have not indicated a motive for the killing. 

Meantime, the investigation into the case is ongoing. 

Anyone who may have any information regarding Myranda Southern's murder is asked to call the Laurens County Sheriff's Office at 864-984-4967 or Laurens County Crime Stoppers at 864-68-CRIME.

Original story: A Greenville County man has been charged in the murder of Myranda Whisenant Southern, who was last seen Aug. 19 after finishing her work shift at Charter Communications in Simpsonville.

A body found in a Laurens County field last week was confirmed to be Southern on Thursday by Coroner Nick Nichols. Nichols said Southern, of Taylors, died after being shot in the neck.

The man in custody and suspected in Southern's death is 33-year-old Darrell Ervin Raines, Jr., who is charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

Authorities said they believe the pair had been communicating before Southern's disappearance and that Raines had been posting on Southern's Facebook to make it appear that the woman was still alive.

Whisenant went missing Aug. 19 after finishing a night shift at her employer in Simpsonville. She was supposed to be heading to Zellwood, Fla., to pick up her two children from a relative, but never arrived and was never heard from again.

A week later, a badly decomposed body was found in a field in Gray Court in Laurens County and identified Thursday through dental records and DNA testing.

During the time she was missing, friends noticed strange posts on Southern's Facebook page purportedly written by Whisenant, but now believed to have been written by Raines to throw off authorities.

One such post said that Southern had decided to stop in Savannah at a friend's to get away for awhile because she was having a tough time, Southern's friend Lauren Searcy told WYFF.

"That's not how Myranda talks.  So we knew instantly it was not her," Searcy told the station. "Myranda was an amazing mother. Her children came first no matter what.  Everything she did was for her children.  And this was not her choosing.  She would have never left those children."

Deputies said the investigation is still ongoing. Anyone who may have any information regarding Southern's murder is asked to call the Laurens County Sheriff's Office at 864-984-4967 or Laurens County Crime Stoppers at 864-68-CRIME.

Stay tuned to Patch for more details as they become available.

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