BERKELEY COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - A former Summerville jewelry store owner has been charged in the death of his wife, according to an affidavit.
The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division charged Michael Colucci with murder, believing he is responsible in the May 2015 death of Sara Moore-Colucci.
An affidavit states police found Moore-Colucci dead of an apparent strangulation outside of a building on the 2200 block of North Main Street on May 20, 2015.
The suspect said she hanged herself with a garden hose, but medical evidence collected from the scene that night proved that wasn't true, according to the affidavit, and indicates there may have been a struggle.
Donnie Barfield is a former neighbor of the couple.
"I knew it was coming, just when, that was the biggest thing," Barfield said.
Initial investigation found that the victim and Colucci went to the building together that day. There were no witnesses on scene.
According to an incident report, deputies found Moore-Colucci laying on her back on a concrete slab.
Deputies said there was a garden hose on the ground that appeared to be looped around the top of a chain link fence.
The report states there was a cinder block at the base of the fence and a strand of blond hair hanging from a loop in the hose at the top of the fence.
"He was so convincing, trying to fool people that she hung herself and it was just no way," Barfield said.
In a statement, Berkeley County Sheriff Duane Lewis said the family of Sara Moore-Colucci contacted him about concerns they had about their daughter's death shortly after he was sworn in as sheriff.
"After hearing their concerns, I pulled the case file and reviewed it, looked at the incident report, the statements and the photos," Lewis said in the statement. "Based upon what I saw, I felt that having SLED come in and investigate the case was the best approach to make sure that a thorough investigation was completed. I want to thank Chief Keel and his agents for their efforts on this very important case."
Colucci was being held at the Berkeley County Jail pending a bond hearing Thursday morning in Moncks Corner.