After a week and a half of searching, two arrests and one suspect on the run, the body of a 19-year-old Beaufort man was found on St. Helena Island on Saturday.
Chaz Blanding was identified as the person who was found dead near Simmons Road Saturday afternoon, according to a Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office news release Sunday afternoon. A forensic autopsy Sunday at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston revealed that he died from multiple gunshot wounds.
Chaz Blanding was last seen alive leaving his home with his uncle, Robert Blanding, the night of Nov. 21. The pair were like brothers, a friend said.
Robert Blanding was found dead with multiple gunshot wounds off F&B Road on Lady’s Island on Nov. 22. Chaz Blanding was reported missing and endangered by his family shortly after Robert Blanding’s body was found.
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Three teenagers are suspected in connection with Robert Blanding’s death.
Raheem Bennett, 16, of St. Helena Island was arrested Tuesday and charged with murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime. He was denied bond, according to online Beaufort County court records. He is being held in Beaufort County Detention Center, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Channon Preston Jr., 18, of Lady’s Island was arrested Friday and charged with accessory after the fact to murder. He is being held in Beaufort County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing, according to online court records.
Nashon Pringle, 19, of St. Helena Island is wanted for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime, but the Sheriff’s Office has not been able to find him yet. Pringle is considered armed and dangerous, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
As of Sunday afternoon, the three only face charges in connection with Robert Blanding’s death, which is still under investigation, Sheriff’s Office Capt. Bob Bromage said. Chaz Blanding’s death is also still under investigation but it has been deemed a homicide.
Anyone with information can contact Sgt. Brandon Disbrow at 843-255-3407 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-888-Crime-SC.
Anyone with information on Pringle’s whereabouts should call 911.