Man sentenced on obstruction charge in disappearance with possible Lowcountry connection

Man sentenced on obstruction charge in disappearance with possible Lowcountry connection
Nicole Goodlett (Photo Source: Facebook)
Nicole Goodlett (Photo Source: Facebook)

SPARTANBURG, SC (WCSC) - A man was sentenced to five years in prison in connection to a missing person case with possible ties to Berkeley County.

Jerald Howard was sentenced to five years in prison, suspended to a $500 fine plus costs and assessments, and two years of probation, with GPS monitoring required for the first 90 days, according to Seventh Circuit Solicitor's Office spokesman Murray Glenn.

Nicole Goodlett, 28, was reported missing by family members on March 12, 2014 according to the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office. Investigators said Goodlett and Howard were living together at the time of her disappearance.

Investigators obtained a warrant to search Howard's home, but when they approached, he slipped under a garage door and attempted to flee from the home with a cell phone that was connected to Goodlett, leading to the charge of obstruction, Glenn said.

A second charge of resisting arrest against him was later dismissed because it was duplicated in the obstruction charge, Glenn said.

On June 2, 2014, Berkeley and Spartanburg County deputies searched for Goodlett, who they believed may have been the victim of foul play in or near Berkeley County. Investigators said at the time her boyfriend, Howard, was a person of interest in the investigation.

Berkeley County deputies are continuing their efforts with Spartanburg County, according to Berkeley County spokesman Michael Mulè.

"No new leads have come in with Miss Goodlett's investigation," Mulè said.

Goodlett is the mother of three and goes by the nicknames Alazy or Zay.

Howard remains "the one and only person of interest" in Goodlett's disappearance, according to Spartanburg County Sheriff's Lt. Kevin Bobo.

Howard's attorney, John Reckenbeil, of Spartanburg, says his client was identified on national television as a person of interest, but says Howard has not been charged directly with Goodlett's disappearance.

Anyone with information should call the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office at (843) 719-4412, the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office at (864) 596-2222, or Crime Stoppers at (843) 554-1111.

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