Goose Creek Man Charged with Murder After Bodies Found in Backyard

James Loftis

James Loftis Photo: WCIV

A Goose Creek man is charged with murder after police found two bodies buried in his backyard early Sunday morning.

According to Coroner Bill Salisbury, there was a shallow grave in the backyard of a Pandora Drive home that held two bodies. Salisbury said the bodies have not been identified and were sent to Medical University Hospital for an autopsy.

James E. Loftis, who lives at the home where the bodies were found, was arrested and charged on Sunday with two counts of murder.

According to an affidavit, Loftis’ wife went to the police on March 5 and said her husband was having suicidal thoughts. She said Loftis had called her while she was in Columbia and said that he had “killed ‘them’ and put them in the backyard.” She said she came home after that call to find Loftis “passed out from drinking alcohol” and his friend looking after him.

When police arrived at the home, she pointed out a bullet hole in the living room wall. Loftis was reportedly still “sleeping heavily due to being intoxicated.”

Another witness (the friend) told police that Loftis said he had taken a taxi home from a strip club and the two victims had followed him into the house so he shot them and buried them in the backyard.

GCPD officers reported finding the five foot by three foot grave in the backyard and “blood throughout the grout of the tile floor leading from the front room to the kitchen.”

Once police mirandized Loftis, he told them the same story, according to the affidavit. He said the taxi driver and another man banged on his door, forced their way in, and demanded money for the cab fare. Loftis told police he responded “I’ll get your money” but got a .45 caliber semi-automatic instead and fired eight shots at the two men.

According to the affidavit, Loftis said he then moved the taxi to Old Black River Road, bought five gallons of gas from a nearby Kangaroo gas station, cleaned his home with bleach, then put his clothing, towels, and the bodies in a hole in the yard. He told police he then set the shallow grave on fire.

Categories: State