COLUMBIA, S.C. – The body of missing lobbyist Tom Sponseller has been found, according to Columbia police.
Sponseller killed himself, Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott said.
His body was found in a lower level of the parking garage at 1122 Lady Street just before 11 a.m., said Jennifer Timmons, a department spokeswoman. The South Carolina Hospitality Association, where Sponseller was chief executive officer, has its headquarters at the building.
“It’s very devastating,” said Rick Patel, the vice chairman of the association.
Investigators found the body in a double enclosed room as they were conducting a follow up check of the building, she said.
Police searched the building multiple times, including a search with dogs trained to find cadavers, Timmons said.
A 2 p.m. news conference was scheduled at Columbia police headquarters, Timmons said.
Sponseller was reported missing Feb. 18 by his family.
His disappearance came as the US Secret Service opened an investigation into missing money at the Hospitality Association. A woman who worked as the organization’s accounting director has been named as the person of interest in that investigation.
The state House of Representatives held a silent prayer for his family earlier today