COLUMBIA, S.C., March 19 (UPI) -- A man whose body was found at a South Carolina state mental hospital was apparently accidentally electrocuted while stealing copper wire, a coroner said.
The body was discovered Sunday morning by a North Carolina man taking photographs on the campus of the state mental hospital in Columbia, The State reported. Police believe the dead man, identified as Anthony Williams, 39, of Columbia, had been killed several days earlier.
Williams was hanging in a harness under several electrical transformers, police said. He was near the Babcock building, a historic pillared structure built more than 100 years ago.
Most of the more than 40 buildings at the hospital are now empty, inviting targets for thieves and vandals.
Gary Watts, the Richland County coroner, said Williams died immediately when he touched a wire carrying "thousands of volts" of electricity. He had tools that could have been used to remove copper.
"He wasn't up there collecting for the Red Cross," Watts said Monday.