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RCSO Officer Kills Himself Amid Investigation


A veteran officer with the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office has killed himself amid an investigation by his agency.

The body of Investigator Brian Manecke was discovered on a dirt road in Lincolnton on Friday night. He had apparently killed himself, and the GBI was investigating the death along with Coroner Tim Quarles.

The sheriff’s office issued a short press release late Friday: “On September 15, 2023 at approximately 6:20 pm, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office that they located an employee of RCSO in their personal vehicle, deceased with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. The investigation into this matter is being held in the jurisdiction of Lincoln County and no other information is available for release at this time.”

The death came as the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office looked into complaints from other law enforcement officers in the region that Manecke had been posting pictures of their children on social media pages that were pro-pedophilia. He was accused of taking a photo of two children from a woman’s Facebook page and posting the image on a known pedophile site, claiming the girls were his. The sheriff’s office had taken out search warrants to look at his devices, including his phone and computer.

But before they could download the material, Manecke disappeared and did not answer phone calls from his supervisor. Then his body was discovered in Lincoln County.

The parents first complained last week to the sheriff’s office about Manecke posting their children’s pictures on social media. They complained again this week when they didn’t feel enough was done. They reached out to WGAC’s Austin Rhodes, who talked about the case on his afternoon radio show on Thursday and Friday.

“All this time the suspected pedophile was walking around with a badge and a gun,” Rhodes said on Facebook.

Rhodes said that Manecke even appeared in court this week despite the allegations against him and an investigation by internal affairs. The radio host posted a clip online, outlining the complaints and laying out the allegations in detail.

“I was told that after testifying in a court case (Thursday), he never went home, and in fact he was missing all day today,” Rhodes said.

Manecke was promoted last year to investigator after working at the sheriff’s office since about 2009.

Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh
Greg Rickabaugh is an award-winning crime reporter in the Augusta-Aiken area with experience writing for The Augusta Chronicle, The Augusta Press and serving as publisher of The Jail Report. Rickabaugh is a 1994 graduate of the University of South Carolina and has appeared on several crime documentaries on the Investigation Discovery channel.
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