The man whose body was pulled from a Broadway at the Beach lake was a plastic surgeon remembered Tuesday as a “loving, caring person.”
The investigation into the death of 41-year-old Darrell Wayne Graham continued Tuesday, two days after his 24-year-old wife reported him missing and his body was discovered, authorities said.
Preliminary autopsy results showed that he died of drowning, Horry County Chief Deputy Coroner Tamara Willard said Monday. She expects toxicology and other tests to take about 12 weeks.
The investigation marks the second time in a month that Myrtle Beach police have responded to a call involving the couple, according to police records. On July 11, police arrested Graham on a criminal domestic violence charge.
Graham was a doctor at Sculpted Figures Plastic Surgery in Myrtle Beach and specialized in plastic and reconstructive surgery, according to the office’s website.
An answering service for the business said it was closed this week for an emergency and it was unclear when the office would reopen. Messages left with the answering service had not been returned Tuesday. His family and friends were not available for comment.
Two women, who posted on MyrtleBeachOnline.com that they were Graham’s relatives, called him a great person.
Darrell W. Graham was my cousin,” said Christy Rena Cates of Buchanan, Ga. “He was a wonderful person loving, caring just all around great. . . . I LOVE YOU Darrell always.”
Graham was from Tennessee, but had lived in North Dakota and New Jersey before settling in Myrtle Beach, according to officials. He enjoyed being outdoors, fishing, riding motorcycles, basketball and spending time with his family and pets.
Graham also “dabbled a bit in oil painting and murals. He has a great sense of humor and is very compassionate when it comes to his work,” according to his biography on the Sculpted Figures website.
Graham began his surgical career at a trauma center in Memphis before he spent five years at the University Of Florida College Of Medicine as a general surgeon chief resident and an additional two years as a plastic surgeon at the University of Texas, Southwestern in Dallas. He also spent a year in Taipei, Taiwan at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital for a fellowship in micro and reconstructive surgery, according to the site.
The police first interacted with the couple just after midnight on July 11 when they were called to his home. Graham’s wife told police they had been drinking with friends and the couple argued after their friends left.
The woman could not recall what the argument was about, according to the report. Graham’s wife, who was listed as the victim in the report, said she knocked a picture frame off a wall and Graham followed her holding a plate of food into the living room.
The woman said Graham dropped the food, pinned her to the couch, and with a closed fist punched her in the face, according to the report. The woman said she scratched his face and put her fingers on his lip, which caused him to bleed.
The victim said she was able to break away from Graham’s hold, but he grabbed her and shoved food into her face, according to the report. The woman said she was able to escape after he had grabbed her legs and pulled her out of the room.
The woman said she locked herself in an upstairs room and escaped out the window onto the roof, according to the report. She said she then came down the stairs and ran out the front door while Graham chased her, but he stopped and then left his in vehicle.
The woman refused treatment by EMS. Graham, who was found in his vehicle, refused to speak with officers so he was arrested, according to the report. Later, at the Myrtle Beach jail, Graham told officers that he argued with the woman, she knocked a picture off the wall and a plate of food out of his hands.
Graham told police that the woman scratched him in the face, but that he never placed his hands on her, according to the report, which noted the woman had a bruise on her face.
Graham was released that same day on a personal recognizance bond, according to court records.
On Sunday, Graham’s wife called police about 3 a.m. to report him missing.
She told officers that she and Graham had argued Sunday while they were leaving Celebrity Square and as they walked toward their vehicle Graham said he had to use the restroom. She said Graham walked behind Ron Jon Surf Shop to use the bathroom while she waited in front of the store.
The woman told officers that she heard what sounded like a person jumping into the water, but she thought Graham was joking around so she continued to wait in front of the building, according to the report. The woman said she called out for Graham, but he did not answer so she waited a few minutes.
The woman said she went behind the building to look for Graham, but he wasn’t there so she tried to call his cellphone several times, according to the report. There was no answer and officers had her track the phone, but it showed that it was offline.
Police and fire and rescue crews searched the lake and the rest of the Broadway at the Beach property. Police took Graham’s wife home to see if he was there, but he was not. Officers entered Graham into the missing persons database. His body was discovered