Polk sheriff assists in search for suspect in murder of former Spartanburg sheriff

Published 12:37 pm Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Spartanburg, S.C., man who has been charged with murder in connection with the murder of former Spartanburg County Sheriff Charlie Snipes was spotted doing laundry at the Columbus laundromat Tuesday afternoon, according to the Polk County Sheriffs Office.

Sheriff Donald Hill says his department assisted the Spartanburg County Sheriffs Office Tuesday in the search for the suspect, Jeffrey Eugene Bailey, 33, of 7136 Asheville Highway in Spartanburg.

Bailey was seen at the Columbus laundromat with Snipes truck; Bailey has also been charged with stealing that truck.

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The Polk County Sheriffs Office helped Spartanburg County sheriffs officers search a dumpster located in Mill Spring Tuesday afternoon, Hill says. Hill says investigators believe Bailey has ties to Polk County.

According to Hill, Bailey was found later on Tuesday in Unicoi County, Tenn., just moments after a BOLO (be on the lookout) for Snipes license plate number was sent out to law enforcement agencies.

Bailey was still being held in Tennessee as of yesterday and has been charged with the murder of 82-year-old Snipes.

Snipes’ death was discovered when a family member alerted Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright that Snipes had not come home Monday night. Spartanburg County investigators went to the used car lot in Spartanburg that Snipes ran and found his body.

Investigators immediately called Snipes death suspicious, and it was determined that he had been beaten to death. Investigators also discovered that Snipes 1999 Ford Ranger truck was missing from his business and sent out the BOLO that helped locate Bailey.

Sheriff Wright said Snipes, who served as Spartanburg County Sheriff from 1961 to 1968, was a good sheriff who stayed active in the community.

Snipes served as state director of the National Sheriffs Association, worked for the S.C. Highway Patrol, as a railroad detective with Southern Railway and volunteered with various community groups over the years, including the Spartanburg Lions Club, American Legion and the Travelers Protective Association, a fraternal organization.

Snipes also served in the Korean War as a platoon sergeant and weapons instructor.