Woman and children held at gunpoint during home robbery in Bluffton

Powell, Marion
Powell, Marion

Three armed men invaded a Bluffton home Monday afternoon, holding a woman and four children at gunpoint while they ransacked the house and stole jewelry, electronics and cash, according to Bluffton police.

Police are looking for 24-year-old Marion B. Powell of Caragana Lane in Yemassee, who they have identified as a person of interest in the 5:30 p.m. armed robbery at the home on Oakesdale Drive in the Mill Creek subdivision.

"Information has led us to his name," said Capt. Bryan Norberg, police spokesman. "We're at a sensitive point in the investigation, but the community needs to have this information. If anyone has seen him, or sees him, we want to know about it."

According to the release, the three men entered the home through an unlocked back door. A 28-year-old woman and four children ages 3 to 10 -- her two children and a niece and nephew -- were held at gunpoint by one man while the other two searched the home, Norberg said.

They held the woman and children for about 30 minutes and left with numerous items such as jewelry, small electronics and cash. No injuries were reported, Norberg said.

The following descriptions of the suspects were provided by the woman and children:

  • Black man, mid-20s, 5-feet-8, 160 pounds, with dreadlocks pulled back into a ponytail and his face covered. He was wearing a white T-shirt, blue jeans and white shoes.
  • Black man, early 20s, 6-feet-2 and about 150 pounds. He was wearing a black shirt, faded black pants, black shoes and had a black handgun.
  • Black man, early 20s, 5-feet-8, 150 pounds, with ear-length dreadlocks. He was wearing a collared shirt that was white with a blue and red-orange stripe. He wore light blue jeans with a bleach stain on the right back pocket.
  • A dull silver handgun was used by one of the other two men, according to the release.

    Investigators do not know what led the men to the Mill Creek home, Norberg said.

    "We're attempting to determine why this house and this location were chosen," he said. "We're not seeing any connections between the residents and the person of interest at this point. We're still looking at information that may lead us to other people of interest."

    Powell is wanted by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office on several charges, including a July 30 armed robbery in the Big Estates community of Yemassee where he is accused of tying up a man and stealing about $800 before driving the victim to Burton Wells Park in northern Beaufort County and leaving him, said Sheriff's Office Capt. Bob Bromage.

    According to the county jail log, Powell served prison time in 2009 for a 2008 armed robbery.

    The woman robbed Monday in Bluffton will meet with an S.C. Law Enforcement Division sketch artist, and Bluffton police expect to release composite sketches today of two of the suspects, according to the release.