The man and woman Anthony Spivey called “Pa and Ma” have been arrested.
Harold Dean Sasser and Debbie Sasser were taken into custody this afternoon, according to jail reports. CCN has not confirmed their charges, but both appear in booking records. When contacted for a comment about Spivey’s arrest earlier today, Harold Sasser did not answer a telephone call or text earlier.
The former police chief for the town of Chadbourn was arrested in April 2021 on 70 felony charges, including larceny, obtaining property by false pretenses, and trafficking in opiates by possession. He was initially held under a nearly $1 million bond, but was released after the bond was reduced to $400,000. Spivey was working in a Tabor City garage when he allegedly stole two catalytic converters during a Christmas party, and subsequently sold them. He was due in court Monday for a possible bond revocation, and to face additional charges.
His new bond is $1 million.
In a supposed suicide note sent to Columbus County News Editor Jefferson Weaver, Anthony Spivey said he “fell into a dark place” and that he would rather die than go back to jail.
“I would do anything to take this pain away,” Spivey wrote, “so I made this choice!”
Spivey, 36, was reported missing by his wife and a family friend Monday after the truck Spivey borrowed on Sunday was found at Sand Hills Hunting Club near Fair Bluff. Spivey’s boat and fired rifle were found a short distance downstream. In the truck was a suicide note, and a packet of other letters was delivered the same day to Dean Sasser’s home. Sasser, who described himself as a “father figure” to Spivey, loaned him the truck that was found beside the Lumber River.
Deputies, water rescue teams, Wildlife officers, a helicopter, ground search teams and others deployed to the area and conducted an intensive three-day search for his body. At the same time, investigators received a tip that Spivey was hiding in his aunt’s home in Loris.
Spivey was arrested early Thursday after three days of searching for his body on the Lumber River. Spivey was found hiding in a relative’s home in Loris. A joint operation by Columbus County Sheriff’s Deputies and Horry County Police ended with Spivey in custody around 12:30 a.m.
Dean Sasser did not answer a telephone call or text asking for a comment. Replying to a text asking for comment, the ex-chief’s wife Eve Spivey said “I have no words!!” She made the same comment on her Facebook page Thursday afternoon.
In the letter to Weaver, Spivey rails against court officials and said he had nothing to live for.
“Just know…he (the District Attorney) is nothing but a liar, and Doug Sasser and ADA (Jacob) Ward are nothing but liars!! They straight railroaded me. I’m not the monster they say I am!!
“I can’t beat the good-ole-boy corrupt system they have. The pain they have caused me is unreal I would do anything to take this pain away, so I made this choice!”
The months Spivey spent in jail left him spent, according to the letter.
“I made up my mind, I chose to die before I allow them to put me back in HELL!…If you’re reading this, I’m already gone. I’ve crossed over to the other side. My judgement day came today. Only GOD can judge me! Not some corrupt judge or DA.”
In Spivey’s original arrangement hearing, District Attorney Jon David told the court that Spivey had failed to make court appearances where he was scheduled to testify. Other times, David said, Spivey was late, or evidence was missing. The lack of evidence, including opiates, cash and firearms, led to the dismissal of several felony criminal cases.
The problems led to the State Bureau of Investigation being called in to review the evidence locker. Agents found multiple problems in the evidence room. Spivey was put on administrative leave at the suggestion of the district attorney’s office, and later resigned in March. He was arrested in April.
Spivey will stand before a South Carolina judge for extradition before being brought back to Columbus County to face additional charges, including 40 counts of failure to appear.