LINCOLNVILLE, South Carolina (AP) -- Dozens of officers and bloodhounds from across the state searched for a law enforcement officer Tuesday who disappeared after a nighttime traffic stop, officials said.
The officer's cap, bullet casings and blood were found in a yard, and his empty cruiser was later found on fire.
"We will utilize every asset that we need to find this officer," Capt. Mike Benton of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office told The Post and Courier of Charleston Tuesday.
The officer, a state constable who works as a volunteer for the Lincolnville Police Department, had made a traffic stop about 10:30 p.m. Monday, Benton said.
"He cleared from the traffic stop, and about four minutes later, the sheriff's office received a call that there were shots fired in the area," Benton said. "We found a gun and blood."
A telephone message left with the sheriff's office Tuesday seeking further comment was not immediately returned. Along highways near Lincolnville, electronic signs listed a fugitive alert and described a black Chevrolet Caprice leaving the scene.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division sent agents to help in the investigation, spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said.
Constables assist law enforcement agencies and may carry firearms. They must complete a basic training course at a state technical college before they can be appointed by the governor. The missing constable's name was not released.
Lincolnville is a small town about 20 miles west of Charleston.