Human instinct really is an amazing thing. It’s that feeling you get that things just aren’t right. A group of South Carolina Highway Patrol troopers got that exact feeling when they pulled over 28-year-old Christopher Heck the night before Thanksgiving in Florence.
They’d just charged him with DUI, but there was just something that was…off.
So, naturally, they investigated.
Clarendon County investigators on Friday went to the Beaver Drive address on the ID to talk to Altman about the items found during the traffic stop, and that’s when the oddity of the DUI traffic stop started to make more sense.
When they got there, they found signs that the home had been broken into, and when they got inside, they found Altman’s body on the kitchen floor with stab wounds.
“It was a family member’s residence,” said Clarendon County Sheriff’s Captain Kipp Coker. “She was coming down on the weekends to clean up the residence, and it was my understanding she may have been trying to move down here.”
Deputies say Heck and Altman barely knew each other, and it appears they were just casual neighbors.
“As far as the relationship between the suspect and the victim, we think they just knew that they lived beside each other,” said Captain Coker. “There was no relationship. He just knew that she was coming in and out on the weekends.”
Deputies believe Heck broke into Altman’s home when she wasn’t there sometime last week, and when she walked in on the robbery, Heck freaked.
“Our belief is that Mr. Heck was inside the residence when Ms. Altman got home and kind of surprised her and things happened from there,” said Coker.
Officials say Altman was stabbed to death, and add that they found her dog behind a closed door in another room in the house and the scene was pretty bad.
“This was pretty horrific,” said Coker. “Why he did it? I don’t know, but this was pretty horrific.”
Heck was already on their radar in a possible connection to two other recent burglaries in Clarendon County, and officials say while they continue to investigate the murder, Heck could face additional charges in those separate cases.
“We’re crossing our T’s and dotting our I’s and making sure we’re following up on things we are getting through the investigation,” said Coker.
Heck is being held without bond at the Clarendon County Detention Center. No hearings for Heck scheduled at this time.