‘It’s a nightmare:’ Family talks healing one month after Green Pond murders
COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - A month after a deadly stabbing and house fire in Colleton County that left six people dead and one fighting for her life, family of the victims are trying to pick up the pieces.
The quiet, tight-knit Green Pond community is one of the only things the family says is holding them together on their journey to rebuild, heal and achieve justice for their lost loved ones.
“We keep thinking for some reason it’s gonna be easier,” family member Monique Magwood-Badger said. “Because we get over one hurdle, and we think it’s okay phew, we’ve done that, okay phew, we’ve made it through that, and then it’s something else. So, it’s like this nightmare we can’t wake up from.”
The family laid five of their loved ones to rest at the Dorothy Cemetery, dedicated to victim Maggie Magwood and built on a plot of land near the family home as a memorial site.
The memorial is covered with floral arrangements in their favorite colors, photos and notes of remembrance for a family who loved and welcomed all to the table.
Just a few days ago, 18 more charges were announced for 32-year-old Ryan Manigo, the man accused of breaking into the family home on July 2, stabbing multiple inside, raping two young girls and setting the house on fire.
He is charged with three counts of murder in the deaths of Jefferson “Hot Rod” Burnell, Shamiah Rutledge and Amos Magwood.
He is also charged with first-degree arson for the fire that resulted in the death of Maggie Magwood within the home.
Several family members have said they were shocked to hear of Manigo’s connection to the case.
“For him to do something like this, something of this caliber, I’m still at a loss for words,” Magwood-Badger said. “To say any of us would’ve ever had that in him, never.”
Magwood-Badger said she wanted to specify what the family constitutes as justice for the victims.
“I’m sure I do not stand alone when I say the Magwood family wants the death penalty. He took everything from us, five generations. Five. He did too much, he took too much.”
One victim in the fire, 13-year-old Kamora Wright, survived but remains in critical condition.
Magwood-Badger added the family is struggling to rebuild, attempting to come to terms with the life-altering event.
“This is not going to get any easier for us. It’s not going to be over tomorrow, our lives are changed forever. Our lives will never be the same.”
She adds that although the hurt doesn’t stop, it is important for the family to remember the lives lost not for what happened to them, but the impacts they leave in their communities.
Maggie, a listener and mother to all. Amos and Jefferson, the family’s comedians. Sariya, a cheerleader, on and off the court. Shamiah, a TikTok star, quiet with a big personality. Michelle, a songbird and a mother to all.
“They wouldn’t want us to live our lives sad. They wouldn’t want us to live our lives constantly moping and being angry. They wouldn’t want that for us. They were happy people!” Magwood-Badger said. “Are we gonna cry, yes. Are we gonna be angry, yes. Are we gonna hurt, are we gonna agonize over this for years and years to come, we are because of how they were taken from us.”
Magwood-Badger says the next step to healing for the family is rebuilding the Magwood family home.
She adds the house has been a staple for community gatherings for decades.
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