Chief: Missing SC Hospitality exec left suicide note - FOX Carolina 21

Chief: Missing SC Hospitality exec left suicide note

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Tom Sponseller (Courtesy schospitality.org) Tom Sponseller (Courtesy schospitality.org)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -

The body of the South Carolina Hospitality Association president missing for more than a week has been found.

Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott says Tom Sponseller's body was found about 10:45 a.m. Tuesday in the lower level of a parking garage near the man's office.

Police said Sponseller died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and the weapon was found at the scene. Scott said there was a note found in Sponseller's office and it referenced a federal investigation into the association's finances.

The 61-year-old Sponseller had been missing since he was last seen at his office Feb. 18. Police said they had combed his office building and nearby parking garage but said Tuesday that Sponseller's body was in a room on the garage's lower level, that they did not have access to at the time of the search.

Scott said he was disappointed they did not find him. He said they searched that area three times, and it was in a location that was behind two locked doors.

Scott said they searched on Feb. 18, 19, 25 and 28 for Sponseller and used cadaver dogs.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Wednesday that Sponseller died sometime around Feb. 18, when his wife reported him missing. Toxicology reports are pending.

Federal officials confirmed Monday that they are investigating the association's finances but said Sponseller was not a target.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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