A 54-year-old founder of the popular Salt Life clothing and gear company is charged with the shooting death of 18-year-old Lora Grace Duncan, whose body was found by police in a hotel room on Singer Island in Florida after her parents called for a wellness check according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.
What the young woman was doing with the much older man is yet to be disclosed, but the Columbia County Sheriff’s office said that she willingly left that county in Central North Florida, where she lived in Lake City, to go with Michael Troy Hutto. The pair ended up in Palm Beach County on the Southern East Coast of Florida.
On October 26 Duncan’s parents reached out to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office for help with a wellness check, and she was tracked to Riveria Beach in Palm Beach County in an area called Singer Island.
According to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office, they enlisted the help of Riviera Beach Police who found Duncan dead of a gunshot wound in a Hilton Hotel on Singer Island. By the time they found her it was October 29, WCJB reported.
Duncan’s Body was Found Alone In a Hotel Room But Law Enforcement Arrested Hutto at a Hospital After He Received Emergency Medical Attention
According to the Riviera Police Department, “After identifying Hutto as the suspect, he was located in Jacksonville, Florida. Hutto, found to be suffering a medical emergency, was transported to a local hospital.”
The Florida Highway Patrol arrested Hutto at South Baptist Hospital in Jacksonville on October 30 where he was escorted to a patrol car still in hospital-issued socks with no shoes. He is being held in the Duval County jail charged with manslaughter and for being a felon in possession of a firearm, according to a Duval County arrest inquiry.
Court records show Hutto has a history of driving infractions but his criminal record does not show a violent past.
However, in 2014 he was arrested for a DUI while his then 12 and 13-year-old daughters were in the car, along with two of their friends, according to court records. In 2015, after he’d sold his share of Salt Life, he was arrested for shoplifting when, according to an arrest affidavit, he put on a shirt and a pair of shorts over the ones he was already wearing and tried to walk out of a store.
In Light of Hutto’s Arrest, the Current Owners of Salt Life Posted a Statement on Facebook Distancing Themselves From Hutto.
Hutto and three friends founded the Salt Life brand in 2003, but sold the company in 2013 for nearly $40 million, ABC News reported.
According to the company website, the brand “was created in 2003 by four men who weren’t just friends – they were also avid watermen from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Drawn by their shared passion for ocean-centric activities, they embarked on a journey to develop a brand that wasn’t just a logo… they wanted it to represent a style of life.”
In an effort to distance the company from one of it’s founders, the current owners of Salt Life posted on Facebook, in part, “The co-founders have not been associated with the brand in any way since the purchase in 2013.”
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