Memorial service set for Hollywood woman found dead near home

Memorial service set for Hollywood woman found dead near home

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Friends and family are remembering a 77-year-old woman who was found murdered Friday.

Church members are helping Julia Mudgett's family organize a memorial service. Her services will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in West Ashley.

Members say this has been a tough time for the family. They say Mudgett's brother passed away Saturday morning, one day after Mudgett's body was found.

"You get accustomed to them being gone, but you never get accustomed to missing them," said Chris Cooper, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Members struggled with not knowing why their friend disappeared. Now they have answers.

"It is extremely comforting to know that whatever ordeal Julia suffered that it's over," said Cooper.

The news hit them hard when they heard Mudgett's body was found Friday near her home on Toogoodoo Road.

Church member Jaime Michaelsen said, "It saddens me to know that she had to experience that kind of pain."

Friends of Mudgett are wrestling through those unsettling thoughts focusing more on the woman with a strong Mormon faith.

Bishop Peter Schlegel said, "She lived what we called temple worthy."

In Mormon belief, the temple is a sacred place and only a select few are allowed in. Mudgett's bishop of nearly 20 years says she was deserving of a spot.

Schlegel said, "That means that she lived the commandments that the Lord has set forth for us. She never hurt a fly, she took in stray animals, she was kind to everybody she met."

Mudgett touched the hearts of many through her faith.

"She was just a wonderful person, Christ-like person, very loving and very kind," said church member Ana Meyer.

Members say they are comforted in knowing the spirit of their dear friend will live on and that their prayers will be answered.

Cooper said, "We will definitely ask for mercy for that individual, but our cries for mercy will go to God, our demand for justice will go to the court."

53-year-old Jerry Lee Manigault was charged in connection to Mudgett's death by the Charleston County Sheriff's Office.

On Friday, he was given a murder and burglary charge.

Investigators believe Mudgett was struck many times during a struggle in her home. The coroner says she died from blunt trauma.

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