Friend of murdered Fleming Island woman: ‘How could this happen?’

Joy Strickland recalls last conversation she had with Susan Mauldin

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – She believes she’s one of the last people, if not the last person, to hear from a missing Fleming Island woman before she was killed.

On Saturday, investigators revealed that they uncovered the remains of Susan Mauldin while scouring a landfill in Folkston, Georgia. Corey Binderim, a contractor she once hired to do housework, has been arrested and charged with murder.

READ: Man charged with murder after remains of missing Fleming Island woman found

Contractor charged with woman's murder
Contractor charged with woman's murder

Joy Strickland, one of Mauldin’s closest friends, said she was shocked and devastated to hear the news.

“This is unbelievable,” Strickland said. “I am so mad over it. I am thinking: How could this happen?”

Mauldin was first reported missing on Oct. 26 by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. Strickland spoke with Mauldin on the evening of Oct. 23 -- the last day that deputies said she was seen.

TIMELINE: How detectives uncovered remains of missing Fleming Island woman

“That was really the last conversation I had with her,” Strickland said. “My husband was in the hospital. She messaged to see how Al was doing.”

She continued, “It was the last conversation, because detectives called me to make sure that actually happened.”

The search took investigators to Georgia, where the FBI would lead an investigation involving more than 200 people at the Chesser Island Landfill. The search would continue 10-days before a human skull would be uncovered in the rubble.

“I don’t think I will ever forget or get over it,” Strickland said.

Mauldin, a woman with no relatives in the United States, has plenty of loved ones, like Strickland, who are all seeking justice for a friend they consider family.

“I just say it out loud: Susan, what in the world happened?” Strickland said. “Oh my God, Susan, I am so sorry for what happened.”

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