RIVIERA BEACH, FL – One of the founders of the famous “Salt-Life” brand of clothing has been arrested for the murder of a missing Florida teenager. Michael Troy Hutto was arrested by the Florida Highway Patrol after checking into a hospital with an unknown medical condition where he was arrested upon his release, police here said. He is being charged for the murder of Lora Grace Duncan, an 18-year-old who voluntarily left her home with Hutto. Concerned for her safety, her parents asked for a welfare check. Through an investigation, Duncan was found in a hotel room in Riviera Beach, dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
“Great teamwork with Rivera Beach PD to bring this suspect to justice. Michael Troy Hutto was arrested at Baptist South for the recent murder of a teenager in South Florida. Hutto was delivered to Duval County Pre-Trial by FHP,” the Florida Highway Patrol said in a statement.
Hutto was one of the founders of the Salt-Life brand, but the company said Hutto and his partners sold the company to Delta Apparel in 2013 for an estimated $57 million.
“Sadly we have learned one of Salt Life’s co-founders has been charged with a felony. Salt Life sends their utmost sympathies to the family and friends of the deceased. In 2013, the co-founders of Salt Life sold their entire business to the new owners. The co-founders have not been associated with the brand in any way since the purchase in 2013,” Delta Apparel said in a statement this week.
On Monday, October 26, 2020, the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the parents of Duncan who requested a well-being check on their daughter.
“It was learned that the victim had voluntarily left the county with a known individual,” the department said.
CCSO detectives who were assigned to the case later learned that the victim was possibly at a location in Riviera Beach, Florida. Detectives contacted the Riviera Beach Police Department and asked them to respond to the location and conduct a well-being check. Upon arriving at the location, the 18 year old female was found deceased. The victim has been identified as Lora Grace Duncan, of Columbia County. Next of kin notifications have been completed.
“A person of interest has been identified and the investigation is on-going,” the department said as they searched for the whereabouts of Hutto
Sheriff Mark Hunter said, “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 Riviera Beach Police Department is leading the homicide investigation. As additional information becomes available, updates will be provided. Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to call the Riviera Beach Police Department at (561)845-4123 or the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at (386)758-1095. Citizens may also report information through Crime Stoppers of Columbia County at (386)754-7099, or by submitting a tip online at www.columbiacrimestoppers.net.