Bluffton woman found dead in her home Monday

loberle@islandpacket.comMay 12, 2014 

The Bluffton Police Department is investigating the suspicious death of a 70-year-old woman whose relatives believe was strangled in her home Sunday night.

Polly Mitchell was found dead in her home at 168 Buck Island Road in Bluffton by her grandson just before 3 p.m. Monday, according to a relative, Johnnie Brown, who saw her lying in her living-room floor.

"I saw her dead," Brown said. "There was no blood. It appeared that she was strangled."

Bluffton Police spokesman Capt. Joseph Manning said officers responded to the residence at about 3 p.m. and secured a search warrant to enter the home late Monday. He said he expected the initial investigation to continue into the night.

Dozens of relatives and neighbors gathered along the road in front of her home -- the yard surrounded by yellow caution tape, investigators moving in and out -- as they waited for answers. Mitchell had lived there since 1973, according to her son, Ricky Bryant.

"I know right now, her soul is at rest. I know she's with the Lord, and I find so much joy in that," Bryant said. "All I want now is justice for the person who entered her home and took her life."

Bryant said his mother loved children, helping others and watching "The Andy Griffith Show."

"My mother was one of the most gentle, kind, loving souls you'd ever meet," Bryant said.

Bryant's daughter, Monique Bryant, said relatives had spent the afternoon and evening echoing that sentiment.

"We've been going on all day about how wonderful she was, and that comes from the bottom of our hearts," she said.

Monique Bryant, a junior at Limestone College in Gaffney, frequently stayed at her grandmother's home and recalled her humble lifestyle.

"This house is so old, it doesn't have a shower head," she said. "I'd be begging for one, but she liked her bathroom."

Monique Bryant came home for the weekend and stayed at her grandmother's house Friday night.

"She called me her heart," she said. "I walked in and she said, 'My heart is home.'"

Follow reporter Laura Oberle on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Twitter.

A great niece of the victim says the family is waiting for answers as well. Says her aunt was a loving person who will be greatly missed.

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