Lora Duncan was found dead Thursday from a single gunshot wound in a room at the Hilton Oceanfront resort on Singer Island

By Chris Harris
November 03, 2020 02:30 PM
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Lora Grace Duncan
| Credit: Captured Memories by Esta

Days before her body would be found in a hotel, the 18-year-old Florida woman who was allegedly fatally shot by one of the co-founders of the Salt Life apparel brand left her parents' home in Lake City with someone she knew.

A statement from the Columbia County Sheriff's Office confirms that 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan "had voluntarily left the county with a known individual" on Oct. 26.

At this point, investigators are not saying who that person was.

Duncan was found dead from a single gunshot wound in a room at the Hilton Oceanfront resort on Singer Island.

Police have yet to say what name the room was registered under.

But on Friday, authorities detained Michael Troy Hutto, 54, on allegations he killed Duncan, charging him with one count of manslaughter.

Online records indicate he is being held without bail.

Additionally, he has been charged with a firearms possession violation.

Hutto coined the term "Salt Life" for enthusiasts of water sports. He founded the Salt Life clothing brand with several Jacksonville-area friends in 2003.

Hutto was arrested Friday as he left a hospital, where he had been treated for an unknown medical emergency. He did not resist officers' efforts to detain him.

Duncan's remains were found Thursday morning after her parents had asked police to conduct welfare check on her.

Michael Troy Hutto
| Credit: Riviera Beach Police

Salt Life's customer base consists mostly of those who enjoy boating, surfing and fishing and the company's stickers are widespread in car windows.

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Over the weekend, Salt Life noted on its Facebook page that Hutto sold his share of the business in 2013, and is no longer affiliated with the brand.

"Salt Life sends their utmost sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased," reads the company's statement.

Police have not said if Hutto and Duncan knew each other.

Hutto has not entered pleas to the charges he faces, and his lawyer could not be immediately identified.