Missing woman found alive in trunk

Margaret Gooding (Source: HCSO)
Margaret Gooding (Source: HCSO)

HAMPTON COUNTY, SC (WTOC) - An elderly woman who deputies say may have been kidnapped from her home early Monday morning has been found.

Family members of 78-year-old Margaret Gooding say she was found in the trunk of a car about 30 miles away in a Walterboro parking lot.

Hampton County sheriff's investigators say Gooding, who lives in Miley, South Carolina, disappeared around 1:30am Monday after an apparent home invasion.

"The neighbor called and said he had heard a gunshot, and so my wife checked and couldn't get her, so she called 911," said her brother-in-law, Oddis Gooding.

"Officers responded to a call out here this morning about 1am, upon responding they saw some things that weren't quite in order, then their the investigation started," said Hampton County sheriff T.C. Smalls.

Investigators say Gooding was shot in the stomach but found alive and conscious in the trunk of a car around 4pm Monday.

"She was a very pleasant woman and I hope they find her safe and bring her home," said a woman working in the Hampton restuarant, a nearby diner.

Family members tell WTOC she was talking and was taken to MUSC in Charleston. She was last listed in stable condition.

"They have found her, she was located in Walterboro, I think she was in the mall, I'm not sure which mall, but she was alive in the trunk of the car," said Oddis Gooding. "It's been kinda tough, I'm just wondering what happened, so I am anxious to talk to her to see what happened, seeing what went on, because he had to be hectic for her."

There is still no information on any possible suspects, but investigators say they are looking for persons of interest.

Anyone with information should call Hampton County Sheriff's Office at 803.914.2200.

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