Murrells Inlet woman pleads guilty to lying to police in connection to husband’s disappearance, death

Published: Jan. 17, 2023 at 2:22 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 17, 2023 at 6:15 PM EST
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) – A Murrells Inlet woman admitted that she lied to police while they were investigating her husband’s disappearance out of Georgetown County.

Irene Clodfelter, 78, pleaded guilty to two counts of obstruction of justice on Tuesday.

The charges stem from the death of her husband Hubert Clodfelter.

Hubert Clodfelter was first reported missing in March 2019 by his daughters after they said they had not seen or heard from him in two years.

Irene Clodfelter told investigators that the last time she saw her husband was in March 2019.

It’s important to note that Irene Clodfelter is not the biological mother of Hubert Clodfelter’s daughters.

Hubert Clodfelter was last seen in March, according to his wife, Georgetown County deputies say.
Hubert Clodfelter was last seen in March, according to his wife, Georgetown County deputies say.

Hubert Clodfelter’s body was found in June 2019 by his daughters inside a storage unit under a family-owned mobile home at the Myrtle Beach Travel Park. The manner of death was determined to be homicide, but to date, no murder charges have been filed in the case.

In June 2022, Irene Clodfelter’s case went to trial in Horry County on an accessory after the fact of murder charge.

The judge issued a directed verdict in the case and sided with the defense. According to the ruling, the state could not prove murder because it could not determine where or when the victim was murdered. Therefore the accessory after the fact of murder charge was terminated.

However, on Tuesday, Irene Clodfelter admitted to lying to police about her husband’s whereabouts and also deleting information from a cellphone that she had that may have shown communications between her and her husband. Authorities said both of those events happened in May and June 2019 during the missing person portion of the case.

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“This was a very unique case. Someone, somewhere, at some point, murdered Hubert Clodfelter. We can suspect, but we could not prove by a reason we could not tell what jurisdiction the murder occurred. We did remain diligent in seeing that justice was served for Mr. Clodfelter, his surviving family, and that justice be served on this defendant,” Oskin said. “The defendant admitted to lying to law enforcement about where her husband was in early to mid-2019 as well as destroying evidence off her phone as indicated.”

The judge sentenced Irene Clodfelter to 10 years in prison suspended to the service of two years in prison and eight years on probation for each charge. The sentences will run concurrently. She had faced zero to 10 years in prison.