“I’m still in shock,” said Mary Valliant, the CEO of Southern Palmetto Hospital in Barnwell, S.C., where Mann had worked as a general surgeon since March. “He just didn’t deserve to die like this.”
Mann’s body was found Saturday in Augusta and a suspect in the case is in the Richmond County jail facing several charges, including murder.
According to a statement released Sunday morning by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Glenn Vincent Riggs II, 22, is charged with murder and robbery by force in Mann’s death.
Valliant said she last saw Mann, 60, on Thursday night at a hospital-sponsored health fair he led in Williston.
Later that night, Mann was reported missing. On Friday, his blue 2006 Honda Civic was found in a wooded area in the 3400 block of Old Louisville Road in Augusta.
“I really hoped we could find him,” Valliant said Sunday.
Police said they believe Mann was killed at Riggs’ residence in the 2600 block of Dublin Drive.
Riggs also had several outstanding misdemeanor warrants seeking his arrest.
Mann was a “highly recommended” surgeon with more than 27 years of experience who always stayed positive, Valliant said.
“I have nothing but wonderful things to say about him,” said the hospital executive.
That sentiment was echoed by patients, including Felicia Holman.
“He is a good person and an awesome surgeon. He was so good to me when I had my surgery,” Holman wrote on The People-Sentinel’s Facebook page.
Tonya Hammet remembers Mann’s bedside manners, something “that is very hard to find these days.”
Mann lived in Barnwell County during the week, but traveled home to Kathleen, Ga., on weekends to spend time with family.
According to the hospital’s Web site, he was a graduate of the University of Florida College of Medicine. As part of his residency, Mann did pediatric surgery at Queen Mary’s Hospital for Sick Children, Carshalton, England.
“My prayers and condolences are extended to his family and coworkers,” Michelle Baptiste Reed said on Facebook. “May justice be served.”
A public memorial service is being planned, but Valliant said a date has not been set.
Chronicle Staff Writer Bill Kirby contributed to this report.