From our News Partners at WCBD-TV:
HOLLYWOOD, SC - Pink property tape still clings to the area where the missing Hollywood woman's body was found late Friday afternoon.
For the past two weeks the small, sleepy town was also clinging, clinging to hope that they would find out what happened to Julia Mudgett.
"No matter where we went people would ask us, 'what's the latest,' and of course there wasn't any latest," Irene Green said.
Green was one of Mudgett's closest friends. She called authorities back on May 6 when Mudgett failed to attend their weekly prayer group. When she went inside of Mudgett's small, isolated home on Toogoodoo Road, Green said she saw blood splattered throughout the home, and the 77-year-old's breathing machine was still running.
Since that discovery, Green wondered where the widow who lived alone could have gone.
"It's been very difficult, particularly the part of not knowing. Not knowing if there was evil intent and not knowing if we'd ever get Julia back," she said.
On Friday, Mudgett's body was found less than a mile from her home. The Coroner confirms she died of blunt trauma.
"For somebody that kind to die that way is just beyond comprehension," she said. "I just don't understand it."
Jerry Manigault has now been charged with Mudgett's murder. He lives just a few streets away from both Green and Mudgett. While her friend was allegedly murdered at his hand, Green doesn't have anger, just questions.
"He is evil, and the fact that he walked the streets with us, the streets of our lives is disgusting," she said.
But she is clinging to faith and to the memories they shared together. As she begins to plan her friend's funeral, she is reminded of God's love and the love of her best friend.
"God's been good to me. God's been good to everyone, and especially to Julia. He gave her to us and we've enjoyed every minute with her," Green said
A memorial service is planned for this Wedesday at 11 a.m.
Photo Credit: Kozorez-Vladislev Shutterstock