Friends speak out after missing mom of 3 is found dead

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Colleton County Sheriff Deputies found the remains of Ashley Murdaugh on Tuesday after weeks of searching for her.

“It was pretty shocking, it was pretty scary, I wish she would have been saved,” friend of Murdaugh, Michelle Ballard said.

Ballard lives just feet away from where Murdaugh was buried for weeks.

“I was completely weak in the knees, she was down there the whole time, I could have known,” Ballard said.

Murdaugh, 30, who had three children, was found in a shallow grave behind a blue house off Cumberland Street Tuesday.

By Friday, six people had been charged in connection with her death.

Neighbors say over a dozen Colleton County deputies and K-9 units searched for her body from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. According to deputies, they found her remains around 12:30 p.m.

“My heart just hurts for her, her family, her children and those closest to her,” Ballard said.

Murdaugh had been reported missing by her family on August 8. The search was based on information obtained from more than a dozen interviews conducted by investigators.

Deputies say her disappearance was unusual.

“What is unusual about this case is she declined to pick up her last paycheck from work. she has missed her child’s birthday party and that is abnormal of what we’ve been told about Ashley,” Sheriff R.A. Strickland said.

According to the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, the following suspects have been arrested in the case: Martina Wolf, Cynthia Caron, Alfred Taylor Jr., John Dunigan, Wayne Moore and Tammy Lott.

Wolf, Caron and Taylor have been charged with first-degree murder. Dunigan, Moore and Lott face a charge of accessory after-the-fact to homicide.

Ballard said Murdaugh was in the process of getting her life back in order.

“She was really trying to get her things together, her life and things went wrong and they shouldn’t have,” she said.

Ballard said the news still has her shaken up, but she’s hoping Murdaugh’s family is at peace now that she has been found.

“She’s found, so hopefully there’s some peace,” Ballard said.

At this time, the manner of death is unknown and pending the results of an autopsy.

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