2 veterans, former Nine Line employees identified in murder-suicide investigation

Published: Jul. 19, 2022 at 11:14 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 19, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The deaths of two veterans and former Nine Line Apparel employees have been connected by police.

A 28-year-old woman was found dead in a vehicle at a hotel on Yvette J. Hagins Drive near the Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport around 5 p.m. on July 12. According to airport police, Madalyn Coulter - who is a veteran and mother - died after being shot at that location.

On the day she died, Coulter’s boss from her work called the police when she didn’t show up for her shift, which he said was unusual. According to the incident report, police were looking for Coulter for hours.

Madalyn Coulter
Madalyn Coulter(Family of Madalyn)

Police identified the suspect as 41-year-old Zachary Scalf. Scalf was found dead the same day in the parking lot of Nine Line Apparel, his former employer, on Fort Argyle Road. Scalf died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Police found messages between Scalf and Coulter on her personal phone at her residence. According to police and family, Scalf was Coulter’s ex-boyfriend.

According to the missing person report filed for Coulter, police found messages from Scalf wanting her to meet him at a place they had talked about meeting over a phone call. That place was not known or texted about in the messages.

Blake Smith, Maddy’s fiancé, was called by police to let them into her apartment after she didn’t arrive for work that day.

After Smith and close friend Josh Ezzo realized Scalf had killed himself they immediately began looking for Maddy near the airport where they believed Scalf had been staying.

“We turned right there on Pooler Parkway, turned right and it was the last hotel, the DoubleTree. We saw the car. When we pulled up the door was open, and her body was inside.” Smith and Ezzo then called police.

Ezzo said of Scalf, “did I think he was aggressive? Yes. Did I think he would ever go to this extreme? No.”

Scalf, a veteran, is well-known for appearing in videos and advertisements for Nine Line as well as officially appearing on the 2020 ballot for U.S. President. He posted a video to his Instagram account, also on July 12, saying he was struggling and there were some choices you can’t come back from.

According to a statement from the CEO of Nine Line, Coulter was also a former Nine Line employee.

“Senseless. This is senseless. It doesn’t make sense to us,” said Jackie and George Miller. “There were so many places for him to go to seek help. There are so many other things to do than to take the life of someone that has nothing to do with you.”

The Millers are Coulter’s sister and brother-in-law.

Her family said they don’t understand why this happened, saying he was the one that ended the relationship with Coulter.

“She was happy. She was getting on with her life. She was in a very good place. And he took it away from her,” Jackie Miller said.

Coulter’s family remembers her as not just a loving mother and aunt, but also as a hero.

“She did her time in the military, she did it well, she was a trooper. She loved her country. She did everything that was expected of her and even more, and she broke some boundaries, and she was proud of that,” Jackie and Georgia Miller said.

They say they’ll remember her joy for life.

“She was amazing, she was funny, she was very funny. She loved life, she was smiling, always smiling. It didn’t matter the situation. She would make light of it.”

The following statement is from Nine Line CEO Tyler Merritt:

“Nine Line isn’t just a business or a team; we’re a family, bound by similar values and a shared commitment to those who serve in the nation’s uniform. That makes the news of the tragic loss of two friends, veterans, and former employees all the more difficult to process. While we struggle to understand and search for answers for what led to these awful events that cut these lives short, our hearts and prayers go out to their families.”

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