Mugshot Goes Viral After Friend Murder
David Adam Pate, whose intimidating mugshot has been widely shared online, is alleged to have led his friend Ricky into woodland before killing him in October (Police handout)

This face - tattooed with the word "SATAN" - is one you are unlikely to forget any time soon.

David Adam Pate is charged with the murder of his friend Rickey James, 33, whose body was discovered by school children in a South Carolina woodland.

Local detectives were called to the scene after a group of children found a "badly decomposed" corpse while playing.

In his police mugshot Pate, 24, sticks his split tongue out and smirks at the camera.

The mugshot has been shared widely on social media sites. Pate's tattoos include the number "974" on his neck - a symbol of the street gang, Gangster Disciples; "FEAR" on his eyelid; and "SATAN" on his forehead.

Pate had been jailed for disorderly conduct two weeks prior to his arrest for the murder of James. He is currently detained in Lancaster County Detention Center and will face a bond hearing soon.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family of Mr James. We are thankful that we were able to solve this case so quickly," Lancaster county sheriff Barry Faile told local station WBTV.

"Our investigators did a great job putting this case together. We suspected Pate almost immediately but had to wait on lab results to prove it.

'We are thankful he is in jail where he belongs," he said.