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 torched cruiser was discovered behind a church off nearby Interstate 26. Authorities say a group of children found Bailey's badge and handcuffs case Wednesday night, wrapped in a wad of burned rags another 20 miles up the interstate. He was last seen at a traffic stop.
Police say the two men in custody were arrested on unrelated charges, but they are associates of another man who is considered a "person of interest" in Bailey's disappearance.
Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon told CBS affiliate WCSC correspondent Nicole Johnson that the one of the men arrested, Jerome Washington, is the cousin of Walter Fayall III, a suspect in this case who is already in custody. No one has been charged in the officer's disappearance, but Fayall is being held on firearms charges. Washington and a second individual, Brian Smalls, were taken in on outstanding warrants.
"I feel good about where we are in terms of the investigation," the sheriff said.
Johnson reported that ammunition and a gun magazine were found in Fayall's hotel room.
Meanwhile, the search for Bailey, was scaled back on Thursday, Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon said.
On Wednesday, authorities arrested Fayall on federal weapons charges and called him a "person of interest" in Bailey's disappearance, but no charges have been filed in the officer's case. Authorities are investigating whether Fayall, 24, lived in a house in Lincolnville near where gunshots were heard about the time Bailey disappeared.