Investigation into Bluffton woman's death continues

loberle@islandpacket.comMay 19, 2014 

A suspect in the death of a 77-year-old Hollywood woman is still being investigated as a possible suspect in the death of a 70-year-old Bluffton woman.

Convicted sex offender Jerry Lee Manigault, 53, was charged with murder and first-degree burglary Friday in the death of Hollywood resident Julia Mudgett, and will face additional charges of kidnapping and strong arm robbery Tuesday, the Post and Courier in Charleston reported.

Bluffton resident Polly Ann Mitchell, 70, was found dead May 12 in her home at 168 Buck Island Road. Manigault has not been charged in her death.

"We continue to view him with great interest and are waiting on forensics evidence to come to see if he is our 'suspect.' As of now we are not solely focusing on him," Capt. Joseph Manning, Bluffton Police Department spokesman, said in an email Monday.

Mudgett's car was reported missing from her Hollywood home on May 6, and her 2002 Hyundai Elantra was found underwater near a boat landing on Tuten Landing Road in Ridgeland on May 12.

Several witnesses told police they saw Manigault near Mitchell's home Monday morning, and Mudgett's vehicle was spotted on Buck Island Road just before Mitchell's death, according to police.

Manigault is being held at the Charleston County Detention Center and bail has not been set, according to the detention center jail log.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service