Christin Renee Bunner and Melissa Fairlee Rhymer
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Motives for the killings has not been discussed publicly

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April 08, 2019 11:22 AM

The slain bodies of two South Carolina women were recovered from shallow graves on Friday, and investigators have charged two men with murder after one allegedly confessed following a suicide attempt.

PEOPLE confirms that Jonathan Galligan, 39, and Christian Daniel Hurlburt, 41, were both taken into custody on Saturday and charged with murder in the deaths of Christin Renee Bunner, 27, and Melissa Fairlee Rhymer, 40.

A statement from the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office alleges that Galligan killed Bunner and Hurlburt killed Rhymer.

The bodies were found beneath a foot and a half of dirt, in the Spartanburg yard of a home Galligan once lived in.

The statement indicates the case began taking shape Wednesday when police responded to reports of a disturbance at a local towing business.

Deputies encountered Hurlburt upon arriving, and he allegedly refused to follow their commands. Instead, according to the statement, he took out a gun and fired it at his head once, but he did not die.

The following morning, Hurlburt summoned investigators to his hospital bed and allegedly told police he saw Galligan kill Bunner, saying the woman was his (Hurlburt’s) girlfriend.

Christian Daniel Hurlburt and Jonathan Galligan
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office

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Hurlburt allegedly confessed he helped Galligan bury the body.

He also allegedly confessed to killing Rhymer, according to the statement, and claimed both men buried the corpse in the same yard.

A search of the property Thursday turned up nothing, but the following day, officers returned with cadaver dogs and found both women buried.

The causes of death for the victims have not been released, and motives for the killings has not been discussed publicly.

Both men are being held without bail and have yet to enter pleas. In addition, the two have been charged with being accessories after the fact in the two deaths, respectively.

Hurlburt is also charged with being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a gun.

It was unclear Monday if they had retained lawyers who could comment on the allegations.

Bunner was reported missing in December.

Rhymer had not been reported missing, but authorities believe she was killed in January.

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