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South Carolina woman found dead inside Belk department store bathroom went unnoticed for 4 days

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An investigation is underway in South Carolina after a woman was found dead in a department store bathroom and somehow went undetected for four days.

According to Fox 57 in Columbia, a Belk employee at the Columbiana Center mall found 63-year-old Bessie Durham dead in the store’s family bathroom.

Durham worked for an outside company that provided cleaning and maid services in the department store.

Surveillance cameras in the store are said to have seen the woman enter the bathroom at about 7 a.m. Thursday, four days before her body was discovered.

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A Google Earth image shows the exterior of the Belk department store in Columbia, SC
(Google Earth)

Durham’s family filed a missing persons complaint with Columbia Police on Monday.

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In an interview with Fox 57, South Carolina District 80 Rep. Jermaine Johnson said he felt sorry for Durham, her family and everyone involved in the situation.

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“Right now I feel so sorry for this woman who had to die alone in a toilet cubicle somewhere, just doing her job to survive,” Johnson said.

The rep also posted about Durham on his Twitter page, saying her death should be a wake-up call to “invest in yourself and stop letting your jobs be killed”.

The coroner’s report obtained by Fox 57 on Thursday showed that Durham died of natural causes.

Belk released the following statement to Fox News Digital on Thursday:

“First of all, we offer our deepest condolences to the family of Bessie Durham, who was found in a family restroom at our Columbiana Center location. Ms. Durham provided housekeeping services through her employer, an outside contractor that provides store cleaning services. We are actively working to summarize what happened. In the meantime, we have also made counselors available to staff seeking support.”

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A Google Earth image shows an entrance to the Columbiana Center mall in Columbia, SC

A Google Earth image shows an entrance to the Columbiana Center mall in Columbia, SC
(Google Earth)

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Colombian police are continuing their investigation into the incident.

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