Pamplico murder suspect, 2 others captured in PA

The Florence County Sheriff's Office is searching for Zafir Abdul Bethea, wanted for murder.

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – According to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, the man accused of killing 23-year-old Ellie Becoat has been captured.

Zafir Abdul Bethea, 22, of Pamplico, was taken into custody Thursday by members of the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force and the FBI in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was wanted for murder and possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime.

A press release from the sheriff’s office says two men from Pennsylvania, 33-year-old Ricky Hyseem Smith and 18-year-old Rymir Jamal Steven, were also arrested Thursday and charged with accessory after the fact of a felony. Investigators allege that Steven and Smith helped Bethea after the shooting and fled with him to Philadelphia.

The shooting occurred around 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon on Main Street in Pamplico.

According to Major Michael Nunn with the Florence County Sheriff’s Office, one victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound. The victim, identified as Ellie Becoat III, 23, of Pamplico, died Sunday night, according to Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken.

Bethea is described as a black male, approximately 6 feet tall, weighing approximately 185 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.  Bethea is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached.

Anyone with information is asked to contact FCSO Investigators at 843-665-2121, ext. 372, Crime Stoppers of the Pee Dee at 1-888-CRIME-SC or text tip at #CRIME.  You do not have to reveal your identity to leave information.