Body found on missing Florence County man's land

Florence County sheriff’s investigators process the scene where skeletal remains were found late Thursday afternoon at 2100 N. Old Georgetown Road near Coward. Randy Delyn Bratschi, 54, who was reported missing in late 2004, once lived on the property.

FLORENCE, S.C. – The 2004 disappearance and slaying of a Florence County man and subsequent conviction of his wife for his murder will be the focus of an upcoming episode of The Oxygen Network’s “Snapped.”

Producers from “Snapped” have been in Florence County for approximately a week , shooting footage of the area and interviewing people connected to the investigation into Randy Delyn Bratschi’s murder and the trial of his estranged wife, Brenda Bratschi, who was convicted in 2012 of killing him.

Randy Bratschi was last seen leaving his job at Smurfit-Stone Container in Florence the morning of Nov. 26, 2004. Bratschi’s Isuzu Rodeo was later found abandoned at Bluff Landing, off Old River Road in Pamplico. But investigators soon realized Randy Bratschi hadn’t taken his diabetes medication with him, which immediately cast suspicion on the circumstances of his disappearance.

And that suspicion quickly shifted to Brenda Bratschi, who was out of jail on bond following an arrest for assault and battery with intent to kill in connection with a previous assault on her husband . In that assault, she severely beat Randy Bratschi with a wooden club commonly used by truck drivers to strike the tires on 18-wheelers to check air pressure.

Searches of Randy Bratschi’s vehicle and Old Georgetown Road residence gave no clues to his whereabouts, and several foot searches for Bratschi over the next five years yielded no results. Then, in July 2009, Chris Springs and his cousin were moving a trailer from Randy Bratschi’s former residence and found human remains under the trailer.

Those remains were eventually sent to the Health Science Center at the University of North Texas for mitochondrial DNA analysis, which identified the remains as those of Randy Bratschi.

Brenda Bratschi was subsequently charged with murder in the death of her husband. Evidence and testimony presented during her trial indicated Brenda Bratschi had been taking large sums of money from her husband’s bank account and was willing to do whatever it took to keep her secret hidden. After a weeklong trial, she was convicted of murder, as well as improper burial of a body . She was sentenced to life in prison.

“Snapped” features nonfiction narratives of women who have committed murder or attempted murder. Often the target is the individual's spouse. The program is edited in a documentary style, using a central voice-over narration by reporter Sharon Martin, as well as interviews with people in possession of first-hand knowledge of the case, including law-enforcement officials, lawyers, journalists, friends and family members of both the victims and the accused, and at times the criminals themselves.

Producers working on the Bratschi case segment said they’ve interviewed several of Randy Bratschi’s friends and family members, local reporters who covered the case and trial and Florence County Sheriff’s investigators and prosecutors who handled the trial. They said Brenda Bratschi, her family members and her attorney Lee Herron declined to participate in the show.

The “Snapped” episode profiling the Bratschi case is expected to air sometime next year.

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