Crime & Courts

Fort Mill man charged with murder, accused of dumping body in Chester County

John Coddington
John Coddington

Law enforcement agencies in two counties are investigating a homicide after a Fort Mill man allegedly killed a woman in York County and then drove her body to Chester County.

York County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested John Vincent Coddington, 22. He is charged with murder after investigators say he killed a woman at his home on Azurine Circle on Wednesday. The woman’s body was later recovered near Rippling Brooke Drive in Chester County. Investigators believe Coddington transported the woman after she was killed, according to a release issued Thursday afternoon by the York County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim in the case is identified as Tiffany Opal Williams, unknown age, according to the arrest warrant in the case obtained by The Herald when Coddington appeared in court Thursday night.

Coddington allegedly hit and kicked Williams to death, the warrant states.

Coddington appeared briefly in court Thursday night, where he was denied bond by Magistrate Stephanie Wood. Coddington was wearing a blanket-like vest that is often used for inmates who could be a threat to themselves. He made no statements about the allegations in court.

Coddington said in court he works for Harris-Teeter and because of his employment was denied a public defender.

Police based their probable cause for arrest on statements from Coddington, witness statements, physical evidence and police investigation, the warrant states.

Police say the murder took place in condominiums in the Waterstone development of Fort Mill near the intersection of S.C. 160 and Gold Hill Road. The body was found just north of the city of Chester. Chester County detectives are working with York County deputies in the investigation, said Robert Sprouse, chief deputy for the Chester County Sheriff's Office.

Chester County Sheriff Alex Underwood described where the body was found as “gruesome,” but declined further comment.

Police have declined to say what the connection is between the scene of the crime in northern York County and where the body was found about 30 miles away in central Chester County.

Sheriff’s investigators and coroners in York and Chester counties are still gathering evidence in the case, but officers took Coddington into custody Thursday morning and booked him into the York County Detention Center, where he is being held awaiting bond. Online court records show two traffic convictions for Coddington in York County and no record in Chester County.

This is York County’s sixth homicide in 2015.

Bristow Marchant: 803-329-4062, @BristowatHome

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065