Missing Columbia County dad found dead in Aiken after search

Published: Sep. 28, 2021 at 7:39 PM EDT
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BEECH ISLAND, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) - What started as a search Tuesday morning for a missing Columbia County dad ended with a grim discovery.

A body found in Aiken County was identified as 27-year-old Austin Hollar.

He was found dead at the site of a car wreck near Silver Bluff and Atomic Road in Aiken County.

His body was discovered by a group of searchers who retraced where he would have been traveling.

Investigators say his body had been there since Saturday. He’d been reported missing by his family when he didn’t come home from work.

Hollar grew up in the Augusta area. He married his high school sweetheart and together they have a 2-year-old son.

After he was reported missing, his family and friends came together Tuesday to form a search team to find answers.

They say Hollar had been trying out new routes to and from Woodside Golf Course, where he worked.

They set a three-mile radius from the last place his phone pinged, near Williston and Silver Bluff roads.

Each of the businesses up and down the road had posters in their windows helping the effort.

After a few hours, the searchers found the answer to their worst fears. Hollar was heading down Silver Bluff Road and apparently went around a sharp bend too fast and drove off the roadway.

Aiken County Coroner Darryl Ables says the vehicle had gone down into the embankment, hit a tree and Hollar was ejected from the vehicle.

Neighbors say accidents there are common. People underestimate the curve. The speed limit on the main road is 55 mph and a sign warns drivers to slow to 45 mph with indication there’s a bend, but locals say it isn’t slow enough.

The video below was recorded Friday night at an outdoor concert. It was the last time Hollar’s mother-in-law saw him. She says he was a family man who loved his wife and their son Knox.

Now the family asks for your prayers.

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