COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Tuesday, Colleton County Sheriff Deputies found the remains of Ashley Murdaugh after weeks of searching for her. 

“It was pretty shocking, it was pretty scary, I wish she would have been saved,” friend of Murdaugh, Michelle Ballard said. 

Ballard lives just feet away from where Murdaugh was buried for weeks.

“I was completely weak in the knees, she was down there the whole time, I could have known,” Ballard said. 

Murdaugh, 30, was found behind a blue house off Cumberland Street Tuesday. Neighbors say over a dozen Colleton County deputies and K-9 dogs searched for her body from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday. According to deputies, they found her remains around 12:30 p.m. 
“My heart just hurts for her, her family, her children and those closest to her,” Ballard said. 

Murdaugh had been reported missing by her family on August 8, 2018.  The search was based on information obtained from more than a dozen interviews conducted by CCSO Investigators. Deputies say her disappearance was unusual.

“What is unusual about this case is she declined to pick up her last pay check from work. she has missed her child’s birthday party and that is abnormal of what we’ve been told about Ashley,” Sheriff R.A. Strickland said. 
Ballard said Murdaugh was in the process of getting her life back in order. 
“She was really trying to get her things together, her life and things went wrong and they shouldn’t have,” she said. 

Ballard said the news still has her shaken up, but she’s hoping Murdaugh’s family is at peace now that she has been found. 
“She’s found, so hopefully there’s some peace,” Ballard said. 

The remains have been identified as Ashley Murdaugh through the assistance of the Coroner’s Office and family members.  At this time, the manner of death is unknown and pending the results of an autopsy, Jones stated.  

Investigators with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office are confident that arrests will be made in this case within the next 24 hours. Investigators and deputies will hold a news conference about an update in this case Wednesday at 2 p.m.