Church to hold vigil for missing 77-year-old woman

Julia Mudgett
Julia Mudgett

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - This week a 77-year-old missing woman from Hollywood will be honored at a vigil.

Fellow church members of Julia Mudgett say they've been hit hard by her disappearance. She was last heard from exactly a week ago.

Those close to her are struggling with the thought of not knowing what happened.

Friends of Mudgett say she reminds them of a flower in full bloom.

"She was very sweet lady," said Chris Cooper, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

But the grey sky above Mudgett's church in West Ashley mimics the unrest felt within its members.

Cooper said, "What pains us is not knowing what happened and the fact that she may have been violently attacked."

It's been a week since the 77-year-old mother and widow was last heard from by her friends.

"She was always here," said Cooper.

Chris Cooper says Mudgett is a familiar face in the church.

"I've known Julia for 25 years or more. She would sit in the same place every Sunday; she'd always have a smile," said Cooper.

Church members are upset by the thought of what may have caused the broken glass and blood found in Mudgett's home by investigators.

Cooper said, "Nobody deserves that."

Cooper says Mudgett was frail and wouldn't have been able to defend herself against a possible intruder.

"She's been on oxygen, carried her oxygen with her for the last probably at least five years."

Cooper says they tried to convince Mudgett to move from her home on Toogoodoo Road in Hollywood.

"It's a dark road," said Cooper.

Mudgett lived in the mobile home with her husband before he passed away.

Cooper said, "And she was happy in that location. Despite the number of times we would talk with her, she would make her decision and we would abide by it."

Church members are hoping Mudgett is able to return and recover from whatever may have happened.

Until then, they'll focus on her kind spirit.

Cooper said, "Keeping here in our prayers every day until she returns or we know what happened."

The vigil will be held in West Ashley Wednesday evening at 8pm. It will take place at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

A spokesperson with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office says there are no new developments in the case. They are still searching for Mudgett.

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