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Monday, June 24, 2013

COLUMBIA, SC - Interim Columbia Police Chief Ruben Santiago hopes the public will recognize a van that is being sought in connection with last night’s death investigation.

Preliminary information suggests that a man in his early 50’s was dragged more than 1600 feet by the van with an attached trailer.

Shortly before 9:00 p.m., Investigators say that the victim and another man were arguing over a cell phone at the 1000 block of Union Street.

The argument turned physical and both men were seen fighting between the rear of the van and the attached trailer.

Witnesses tell CPD Investigators that another person, possibly a Hispanic male, may have tried to break up the fight.

Moments after, he got into the van and drove away from the scene.

At that point, the men were still fighting, but this time witnesses say they were in between the van/trailer.

One man managed to break free as the van was in motion. He was later found walking in the area of Columbia Avenue with severe injuries. This individual was transported to a local hospital where he has since been treated and released.

The other man became entangled underneath the trailer and died as a result of being dragged by the vehicle.

The vehicle is described as a blue/silver Dodge mini-van with a white, enclosed trailer. The van may have windshield damage.

Surveillance cameras captured the van in the area of Sunset Drive and Main Street.

Chief Santiago encourages citizens with information about this incident to call, text or submit online, their anonymous tip to Crimestoppers in any of the following ways:

CALL toll-free, 888-CRIME-SC.

TEXT to CRIMES (274637), and mark the beginning of the message with "TIPSC,” followed by the tip information.

LOG onto: www.midlandscrimestoppers.com, and click on the red "Submit a tip” tab.

Tipsters could earn a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to the arrest of the suspect.

If you, or someone you know, have any information regarding any crime, you are encouraged to contact Crimestoppers. You could earn a reward up to $1,000.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crimestoppers by calling 1-888-CRIME-SC.

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Crimestoppers does not take information on crimes here or via standard email because we cannot guarantee your anonymity. Any information sent to us through comments will NOT be acted upon and will be removed. Please call 1-888-CRIME-SC, or use our online tip form to give information anonymously to Crimestoppers.

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