Berea Teacher Killed in Possible Homicide At Quality Inn - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

Berea Teacher Killed in Possible Homicide At Quality Inn

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Laurie Patton (Facebook) Laurie Patton (Facebook)
Darrin Terrell Eskew Darrin Terrell Eskew
GREENVILLE, S.C. - The Greenville County Coroner's Office identified 39-year-old Laurie Patton of Travelers Rest as the woman who died at Quality Inn & Suites on South Pleasantburg Drive on Monday morning.

The coroner's office identified Patton, a Berea Middle School Teacher, using dental records. The cause and manner will be released after the office receives all test results from Tuesday's autopsy.

Greenville County deputies traveled to the Banks County Jail in Georgia on Monday night to question a man arrested there during a traffic stop earlier that day. The registration on the car Darrin Terrell Eskew of Greenville was driving was not registered to him, but to a woman out of Travelers Rest, according to Banks County. The Greenville County Sheriff's Office confirms the car was registered to the woman who rented the hotel room.

Sgt. Carissa McFaddin with the Banks County Sheriff's Office said Eskew was seen driving 30 miles an hour on Interstate 85, where the speed limit is 70 miles an hour. She said when Banks County deputies stopped Eskew for impeding traffic, he stopped in the middle of the interstate and turned into the median. Deputies said Eskew seemed unfamiliar with his location and his destination. McFaddin said Eskew took a swing at a deputy, trying to hit him in the face. That's when a struggled ensued and a deputy tased Eskew.

Banks County charged Eskew with two counts of felony obstruction and a speed violation.

Greenville County said they do not have any charges against Eskew at this time. 

The department is investigating Patton's death as a possible homicide.

The front desk manager at Quality Inn & Suites said the woman who was later identified as Patton checked into the room where the fire happened on Friday. Her reservation listed her as the only guest staying in that room.

Patton was a Special Education Resource Teacher at Berea Middle School since 2005.

The school district released a statement Tuesday calling Patton an "amazing person and inspiring teacher and friend who cared deeply about her students, their families, and fellow teachers and school staff."

"Our Berea Middle School community is devastated by her loss," explained Principal Robin Mill.  "We will continue to pray for her family as we work through our own grief.”

Additional counselors are on campus to meet with students and staff.

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