Before her body was found in a hotel, 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan left her parents' home with someone she knew. The Florida teen was then found dead from a single gunshot wound in a room at the Hilton Oceanfront resort on Singer Island on Thursday, October 29.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that she "had voluntarily left the county with a known individual" on Wednesday, October 26. They did not clarify who the “known individual” was or what name the room was registered under.
Duncan's remains were found on Thursday morning after her parents asked police to conduct a welfare check on their daughter.
Sheriff Mark Hunter said in his statement, "Our deepest sympathies go out to the victim’s family of this tragic event. Although we hoped for a better outcome, we will assist in any way possible to help bring those responsible to justice."
The Rivera Beach Police Department is leading the investigation and will be assisted by detectives from the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
On Friday, October 30, authorities detained Salt Life apparel co-founder Michael Troy Hutto on allegations that he killed the teen and charged him with one count of manslaughter. He was also charged with a firearms possession violation. Hutto was arrested as he left a hospital, where he was treated for an unknown medical emergency. He did not resist arrest.
The company made a statement over the weekend and said that he sold his share of the brand in 2013 for $40 million and was no longer affiliated with the business.
"Sadly, we have learned one of Salt Life’s co-founders has been charged with a felony," they wrote and clarified that he had no been associated with the brand since 2013. "Salt Life sends their utmost sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased."
Hutton established the brand in 2003 with friends to create clothing for ocean and sports lovers.
Hutton has not entered pleas to the charges, and his lawyer has yet to be identified. Police have not confirmed if the teen knew Hutto. The businessman is being held without bail.
The co-founder of the brand was being held without bond at the Duval County jail in Jacksonville as of Sunday, November 1. He was then scheduled to be transferred to Palm Beach County for an initial court hearing.
Our thoughts are with Duncan's family during this difficult time.