Neighbor of missing woman says he's 'in limbo' after questioning

Julia Mudgett. (Source: CCSO)
Julia Mudgett. (Source: CCSO)

HOLLYWOOD, SC (WCSC) - A Hollywood man who says he was taken in for questioning about a missing neighbor says his "whole world is upside down."

Charleston County deputies are searching for clues that will lead them to 77-year-old Julia Ann Mudgett of Toogoodoo Road. Deputies say Mudgett has not been heard from since Sunday.

Deputies, the county's Search and Rescue team and the Marine Patrol canvassed the areas around Mudgett's home Wednesday at approximately 1:30 p.m. Lt. Chris Brokaw of the Charleston Sheriff's Office says that search was performed to make sure every effort is being made to locate Mudgett. Charleston County's Criminal Investigation Division and the Aviation Unit are also assisting in the search.

The neighbor was not arrested and was released by officials after questioning.

But he says investigators confiscated two cars, his phone, clothes and an old shotgun.

The man's daughter says investigators showed up at her door wanting to speak with her father about Mudgett's disappearance, and he told told them he thought he last saw her in her yard Sunday, but wasn't sure. The woman said her father didn't personally know Mudgett and said he only saw her when she would take walks down the road.

But she says because her father may have been the last-known person to see Mudgett before she was reported missing, things took a turn and she felt like her home turned into a crime scene.

"They came over here with the detectives and got a search warrant for the house, went through all of our belongings, and took him for questioning," the woman said. "They took towels and blankets and stuff because he had done a load of laundry so they wanted to test all that."

She says investigators also confiscated her phone.

Her father cooperated with police, she says.

"When he came back, he was just bewildered about all of this. They wouldn't tell me what was going on," she says. "They wouldn't tell me if he was a suspect or anything else, but they were pretty much putting it that way."

Charleston County Sheriff's officials confirm that he was questioned but say they have not named him as a suspect.

Meanwhile, he says he feels he is just in limbo, waiting until his DNA and belongings check out.

Authorities say Mudgett's car, a burgundy 2002 Hyundai Elentra with a South Carolina license tag HHC 851, is also missing.

Mudgett is 5'4" and weighs 114 pounds.

If you've seen Mudgett, you are asked to the Charleston County Sheriff's Office CID unit at 843-554-2475.

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