News Briefs

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Body of third missing swimmer found

The Beaufort County Coroner’s Office has confirmed that a body found washed ashore on Hunting Island on July 17 is that of the third swimmer who disappeared Sunday, July 14.

Seventeen-year-old Mikee Phomma of Philadelphia, PA was located at noon today. A beachgoer discovered Phomma’s remains about a mile and a half from the Fripp Island inlet, approximately three and a half miles from where he initially disappeared. Phomma had been swimming with his uncle, 38-year-old Tiem Mok, and cousin, 16-year-old Nathan Mok when the three were overcome by strong currents off the shores of Hunting Island.

Nathan Mok’s body was the first to be found, less than two hours after he was last seen on Sunday. His father, Tiem Mok was found at 10 a.m. the following morning.

The victims were last seen in distress in the water at approximately 4:45 p.m. on Sunday, July 14. A 14-year-old female family member had been swimming with the victims when they began to struggle against the water’s currents. She attempted to pull them to safety, however, was unable to hold onto them. She made her way to shore where another family member called 911 for help.

All three victims were part of a larger group of family members vacationing in the area.

 

Strong arm robbery suspect arrested

The suspect in Monday, July 22, strong arm robbery at a Burton grocery store has been arrested.

Forrest Eugene Tucker, 57, wanted on one count of Strong Arm Robbery, turned himself in to investigators. Tucker was positively identified as the suspect who stole a wallet from a victim’s shopping cart just after 9:30 a.m. Monday morning.

The victim, a 79-year-old female reported that an unknown black male had approached her cart as she was shopping in the meat department of Food Lion (350 Shanklin Road). The suspect attempted to snatch her purse, but was unable to take it, as it was strapped into the front seat of the cart. The suspect then took the victim’s wallet from her purse and fled the store. The victim was unharmed during the incident.

Other customers who witnessed the robbery gave chase to the suspect and observed flee the scene in a bronze Toyota Highlander. They were able to take down the license plate information which they provided to responding deputies. A search of the area yielded no contact with the vehicle; however, investigators reviewing the video surveillance footage were able to positively identify Tucker as the robbery suspect.

Tucker has been transported to the detention center where he will remain awaiting a bond hearing.

 

CERT program provides free training

The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program provides training to Beaufort County residents to increase self-sufficiency in a disaster.  Participants learn skills that will enable them to provide emergency assistance to their families and neighbors.

CERT classes are free and are held at the Technical College of the Lowcountry (Room 125), 100 Community College Drive, Bluffton.

The course is taught in five class sessions, 6 to 9 p.m.:

• Tuesday, July 30: Personal Preparedness and Hazard Mitigation

• Thursday, August 1: Disaster Medical I

• Tuesday, August 6: Fire Suppression/Disaster Search Techniques

• Thursday, August 8: Disaster Medical II/CERT Organization

• Saturday, August 10: Disaster Psychology/Terrorism Response & Completion Exercise.

For more information, contact Julie Dimitrov at 843-812-2189 or email beaufortcountycert@gmail.com.

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