The Omaha Police Department is reporting that the body found in a pickup truck in the Folly River on Thursday is a missing person from Nebraska. 26-year-old William Smith II was reported missing in early December, and News 2’s sister station in Omaha spoke to Smith’s family members shortly after he was reported missing.
Victoria Smith, William Smith’s sister, says, “You think the worst, you think the best, you think everything you know, but it’s the fact of the unknown.”
Shortly before he went missing in December, William Smith’s family said he withdrew a lot of money from the bank and bought a new Dodge pickup truck, the same truck that was pulled from the Folly River Thursday night. Folly Beach Police told News 2 on Friday that Smith’s cell phone was found on the Folly Beach dock about a month ago. The person who found that phone turned it into a local business, and that business contacted Smith’s family and mailed the phone back to them. The Smith family then told the Omaha Police Department that the phone had been found. According to Folly Beach PD, none of this was reported to them and they first heard about this missing person when Omaha Police contacted them Thursday, following a report of oil seen in the water near the dock. On the phone, Folly Beach Police Chief Andrew Gilreath said even if they had known about the cell phone a month ago, their first inclination wouldn’t be that someone would drive off the dock straight into the water.
One bystander, Kirk Manavel, says, “Those things only happen elsewhere, not here in Folly Beach, you know?”
Folly Beach Police say at this point, foul play is not suspected but they are not ruling it out until the investigation is complete. The Charleston County Coroner has not officially identified the body as William Smith II, but Omaha Police felt confident enough that his remains were in that truck that they notified the family.