Body identified as Bluffton woman

Alexis Lukaitis was reported missing around 9 a.m. Monday.

Alexis Lukaitis was helping a friend.

The mother of twin toddler boys left her home in Bluffton on Sunday afternoon to take her friend to Charleston. She was expected to return that night.

Lukaitis called her fiance Michael Bartley about 7:45 p.m. Sunday and told him she was about an hour away from home. That was the last anyone heard from her.

Loggers found Lukaitis' body about 12 hours later on the side of Old Jacksonboro Road, a dirt road between Charleston and Bluffton. She died from knife wounds, Charleston County Deputy Coroner Dottie Lindsay said Wednesday.

Her white 2001 Pontiac Grand Prix, which was nowhere to be found, was discovered by a Bluffton police officer about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning near the Bluffton Oyster Co., on Bridge Street. The officer noticed the unoccupied vehicle and confirmed it belonged to Lukaitis. The State Law Enforcement Division is processing the vehicle, according to Sgt. Robin McIntosh of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

Bartley reported Lukaitis missing to Beaufort County sheriff's deputies about 9 a.m. Monday when she didn't come home or return his phone calls, McIntosh said. He told deputies she left Beaufort County for Charleston about 3 p.m. Sunday.

Bartley and Lukaitis have twins who will turn 2 years old next month on Bartley's birthday. Bartley and Lukaitis were both originally from the New Jersey area and had known each other for years when they decided to follow his parents to Beaufort County a few years ago, friends said.

Bartley wrote in a text message to The Post and Courier on Wednesday that Lukaitis' family meant the world to her.

"This is horrible to me and anybody that knew her," he wrote. "She was always a social butterfly and it breaks my heart every minute that ticks by that she is not here with us. She was a wonderful person to me and my life will forever change."

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office is investigating Lukaitis' death with the help of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office and SLED.

Reach Andy Paras at 937-5589, aparas@postandcourier.com or on twitter at twitter.com/andyparas.