AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — The Aiken County Sheriff’s Office is investigating following an assault and house fire on Friday, October 18.
“One of the fire people came to the store. I work right here at the store. That’s the reason why I was trying to get home,” a woman who didn’t want to be identified told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk about when she found out about the incident. She thought it was her neighbor’s home. “I just assumed it was next door to me because of the yellow mustang,” she added.
Authorities responded to the 3700 block of Silver Bluff Road just before 5:30 Friday morning. 9-1-1 first received a call of an assaulted happening at the location. The victim was able to run across the road to a neighbor’s home to get help. Then, officials received word of a fire at the same location.
“When deputies arrived on scene, they found the victim at a neighbors’ home where she reported that after a family member left the home, she was awakened by a Black male wearing a black mask physically assaulting her,” Aiken County Sheriff’s Office Captain Eric Abdullah said. “The victim was able to run out of the back door of her home when the suspect reached for her purse,” he added.
There’s still smoke coming from the home hours after Beech Island, Silver Bluff and Jackson Fire Departments responded to extinguished the fire.
After an initial interview with the victim, investigators believe a possible cause of the fire was a turned over candle that happened during the assault but remains undetermined cause at this time.
The Red Cross is assisting the family. The agency was seen leaving a neighbor’s home across the street.
Family members declined to speak with Shawn on camera but officials say the victim was hurt in the incident. “The victim did have some minor injuries. She’s being looked after by family members. I was there talking with her, as well,” Captain Abdullah added.
During a search of the area, deputies and investigators detained a possible suspect who was found walking on Foreman Road. The investigation led to the arrest of the detained suspect, Darrell Miller, 50, of Jackson.
Miller was booked into the Aiken County Detention Center where he is charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault and battery around noon.
Miller was also booked on a larceny charge on unrelated crimes.