A man who co-founded the popular beachwear brand Salt Life in Jacksonville Beach was arrested at a hotel in Riviera Beach after the shooting of an 18-year-old Columbia County woman.
Michael Troy Hutto, 58, was arrested Friday night at Baptist Medical Center South by Florida Highway Patrol soldiers.
Hutto was jailed without bail on arrest warrants accusing him of manslaughter and possession of a gun on Saturday in the Duval County Jail, according to inmate files at the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The Highway Patrol said Hutto was a suspect in the death of Lora Grace Duncan of Lake City.
Duncan was found fatally shot Thursday morning in a room at the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront / Palm Beaches Resort. She had at least one gunshot wound, according to Riviera Beach Police.
When Hutto was arrested, he was wearing green hospital gowns and red non-slip socks. He was handcuffed when placed in a Highway Patrol car, according to photos on the agency’s Twitter account.
The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office said his detectives had been looking for Duncan since Monday, October 26, when her parents asked the sheriff’s deputies to conduct a social check on her.
At that point, investigators learned that she had voluntarily left the county with someone known, the Columbia Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.
The detectives then discovered that Duncan may have been at a Riviera Beach hotel and ordered city police to conduct a social check on her. Arriving police officers found Duncan dead in one of the hotel rooms.
“Our deepest condolences go to the family of the victim of this tragic event. Although we were hoping for a better outcome, we will do whatever we can to help bring those responsible to justice, ”Columbia County Sheriff Mark Hunter said in the press release.
The Highway Patrol said the soldiers took Hutto into custody at the hospital without incident. There was no information about why he was in the hospital. Inmate records show that Hutto was booked into Duval Prison early Friday evening.
Police said it was unclear what relationship Hutto and Duncan had at the time of their death.
Salt Life made a statement on Facebook Saturday saying that Hutto and other original co-founders have not been involved with the company for seven years.
“Unfortunately, we learned that one of the co-founders of Salt Life has been charged with a crime. Salt Life expresses its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the deceased,” the company said on Saturday. “In 2013, the co-founders of Salt Life sold their entire business to the new owners. The co-founders have not been affiliated with the brand in any way since the purchase in 2013. “
State voter registration records keep Hutton’s newest address as Wellborn, Fl.
In 2003, Hutto coined the term “Salt Life” to describe the lifestyle at sea, which identified the lifestyle and beachwear of the company he co-founded and served as president, according to a 2008 Times Union article showed.
Hutto said at the time that he had used the term “salt life” for years before he ever thought it could be a selling point for beachwear.
The Jacksonville Beach native and friends were hardcore fishermen, surfers, and deep-sea divers. He would summarize their daily activities as “living in salt”.
The company has grown from a small local company to a well-known brand over the years.