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Deputies make arrest in Rickey James' murder

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David Pate charged in crime

By Chris Sardelli

Days after a missing Wallace man’s body was found in a wooded area off Memorial Park Road, a Lancaster man was charged with his murder. 

David Adam Pate, 24, 1050 Mullis Circle, was arrested Friday morning, Nov. 22, in connection with the death of Rickey W. James, 33, according to a Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office press release. 

James’ body was found Saturday, Nov. 16, at 12:54 p.m. by a group of children playing in woods near their home. Deputies discovered the badly decomposed body in a wooded area near Mullis Circle and Wade Street. 

Investigators determined that sometime around Oct. 17, Pate and James went into the woods behind Mullis Circle alone, the release said. 

“While there Pate killed the victim and concealed his body under a pile of brush,” said Lancaster County Sheriff Barry Faile in the release.  

On Friday, Pate remained jailed at Lancaster County Detention Center awaiting a bond hearing.  

Faile said Pate was arrested for disorderly conduct on Nov. 11 and had been jailed at the detention center ever since. 

Detectives have not determined a motive for the murder.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr. James,” Faile said in the release. “We are thankful that we were able to solve this case so quickly.  Our investigators did a great job putting this case together.  We suspected Pate almost immediately but had to wait on lab results to prove it. We are thankful he is in jail where he belongs,”  

 

Contact reporter Chris Sardelli at (803) 416-8416