CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) _ Children unwrapping an abandoned wad of burned rags discovered a missing constable's badge, handcuff case and other items inside, authorities said.
The constable, Robert Lee Bailey, disappeared Monday night while patrolling the small community of Lincolnville, about 20 miles northwest of Charleston. His hat and gun were found in a yard, and his cruiser was discovered in flames behind a church off nearby Interstate 26.
The children found Bailey's badge Wednesday evening in a neighborhood of Harleyville, another 20 miles up the interstate from Lincolnville, authorities said.
The discovery sent searchers rushing to the area to resume their hunt for the 67-year-old constable. A Charleston County Rescue Squad planned to search a pond in the area on Thursday, authorities said.
Authorities arrested one man who was wanted for questioning in Bailey's disappearance in Charlotte, N.C., on a federal weapons warrant Wednesday, and he was being returned to South Carolina by federal agents, said Charleston County Sheriff's Department spokesman John Clark.
Walter Fayall III was considered a ``person of interest'' but no charges had been filed in connection with Bailey's disappearance. Authorities are investigating whether Fayall, 24, lived in a house in Lincolnville near where gunshots were heard about the time Bailey disappeared. Clark said Wednesday that sheriff's deputies had not had a chance to talk to Fayall.