Crime & Courts

Green Pond Massacre: Murder Charges Filed, Bond Deferred, Horrific Details Revealed

Two murder charges filed, four more forthcoming in mass stabbing, arson attack …

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In one of the most horrific mass homicides in South Carolina history, multiple victims were stabbed and then left to die inside a burning home on Sunday morning (July 2, 2023) in the rural Green Pond region of Colleton County. One of the victims – a thirteen-year-old girl – managed to escape and was found by first responders on the front porch of the burning residence.

The sole survivor of the “Green Pond Massacre” provided a first name and description of the accused killer – 33-year-old Ryan Lenard Manigo of Walterboro, S.C. – as well as a description of his vehicle. This led to his subsequent apprehension by deputies of the Colleton County sheriff’s office. The survivor was then airlifted to a nearby hospital after being treated for multiple cuts and stab wounds.

She remains in critical condition …

(Click to View)

(Via: Colleton County Fire & Rescue)

At approximately 6:12 p.m. EDT on Sunday evening, the office of Colleton sheriff Guerry L. “Buddy” Hill issued a statement announcing it had launched a “murder investigation” into the house fire – and that Manigo was facing an attempted murder charge. Shortly thereafter, public information director Renée Wunderlich of the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) announced her agency was assisting in “an arson and death investigation involving seven victims,” six of whom were “deceased.”

Hill confirmed on Monday “this is a very active investigation,” and urged anyone with information to contact his office at 843-529-2211.

As of this writing, Manigo has been charged with two counts of murder and one count of attempted murder in connection with the massacre. Numerous other charges – including four additional murder counts – are expected to be filed imminently by the office of S.C. fourteenth circuit solicitor Duffie Stone. Arson charges are also likely to be brought against him at the state level.

One of the two murder victims whose name was released by law enforcement was 11-year-old Sariya Manigo – the daughter of the accused killer. The second murder victim identified by authorities was 50-year-old Michele Marie Wright – the sister-in-law of the accused killer.

According to the surviving victim, both Sariya Manigo and Wright were stabbed by Ryan Manigo prior to the house fire.

(Click to View)

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Ryan Manigo appeared before a Colleton County magistrate shortly before 3:00 p.m. EDT on Monday afternoon. At the request of Stone’s office, a decision regarding his bond was deferred until he could be arraigned on murder charges in front of a circuit court judge as required by state law.

Accordingly, Manigo remains incarcerated at the Colleton County detention center pending a formal bond hearing.

As with anyone accused of committing any crime, Manigo is considered innocent until proven guilty by our criminal justice system – or until such time as he may wish to enter some form of allocution in connection with a plea agreement with prosecutors related to any of the charges filed against him.

Dania Magwood – a family member of one of the yet-to-be-identified victims – has already rendered her judgment in this case, though.

“I wish you death,” Magwood said at Monday’s court hearing. “I wish you the death penalty.”

Regarding the 13-year-old survivor found at the scene of the mass slaying, Magwood told the court “thank God one got away” so that Manigo could be identified and apprehended.

“We hate you,” she said, concluding her brief testimony. “We hate you.”

Shortly after Manigo’s court appearance, sheriff Hill and solicitor Stone held a press conference in Walterboro with SLED agents in attendance.

(Click to View)

(Via: FITSNews/ YouTube)

“Our 9-1-1 center received a call that a stabbing had occurred, that the house was on fire and victims were still inside,” Hill told reporters at the press conference. “When fire rescue and sheriff’s office (deputies) arrived, they found the home was fully engulfed in flames and the only surviving victim was outside the residence.”

“Deputies were able to speak to the survivor who provided the first name, and the description of the suspect and his vehicle,” Hill continued. “As soon as it became apparent that there were numerous victims deceased inside the residence and that there was an indication of criminal mischief, assistance was requested from SLED’s arson team, crime scene unit and regional agents.”

Hill said his office is still “waiting on positive ID” of the four additional murder victims through “pending autopsies.”

According to Hill, “search warrants were obtained and executed on the suspect’s home and vehicle” by Colleton County sheriff’s deputies and SLED agents, and that the “evidence collected has been sent to (SLED) for analysis.”

Hill concluded his part in the press conference by thanking family members for their assistance.

“They were a tremendous help to us yesterday,” Hill said. “They were able to provide us information, they were able to help us with the crowd – which was very large. I ask that the public keep this family and our community in their prayers as we move forward.”

(Click to View)

(Via: Colleton County Fire & Rescue)

As this news outlet reported yesterday, Manigo – a butcher and landscaper by trade – has an extensive rap sheet in the S.C. fourteenth judicial circuit. That sheet includes arrests for kidnapping, armed robbery, burglary and criminal sexual conduct.

Several of these charges have been controversially dismissed over the years by Stone’s office. Specifically, a 2008 burglary charge was categorized as “dismissed – not indicted.” In 2010, Manigo pleaded guilty to an armed robbery charge and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison by S.C. circuit court judge Perry Buckner. Most of that sentence was suspended, however, and Manigo spent less than three years in the custody of the S.C. Department of Corrections (SCDC) – from March 31, 2011 to August 1, 2013.

He was released to probation in Colleton County.

Manigo ran afoul of the law again not long after his release – but a 2015 kidnapping charge was not prosecuted by Stone’s office and a 2017 arrest for criminal sexual conduct was listed as “no billed.”

Count on this news outlet to keep our audience updated on the latest regarding this unfolding story … including any information we receive from the solicitor’s office regarding the disposition of the prior charges against Manigo.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

Will Folks (Brett Flashnick)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children.

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