Florence County leaders refuse comment on how murder suspect disabled ankle monitor

FLORENCE (WBTW) – Florence County deputies searched for days before they found 22-year-old Zafir Abdul Bethea after he allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Ellie Becoat on Main street in Pamplico on Sunday.

Florence County Solicitor Ed Clements, said Bethea was out of jail on a $125,000 bond for the 2015 murder of Terrell Smith when he allegedly killed Becoat Sunday afternoon.

Court documents show one of Bethea’s bond requirements is to wear an electronic monitoring device with home detention. Clements said Bethea disarmed his ankle monitor Sunday morning and turned it back on Sunday night.

News13 reached out to the Florence County Sheriff’s Office and the Florence County Administrator to find out who runs the home detention plan and how a suspected murderer was able to disable a monitoring device. No Florence County official in law enforcement or in government has offered an answer.

Scott’s Bail Bonds is the company that issued Bethea’s bond and the person who answered the phone at the company said they did not want to comment.

Gloria Becoat is Ellie’s mother, she said her son served in the Navy Reserves and always had a smile on his face. Ms. Becoat said she doesn’t know why someone would want to harm her son.

“I don’t understand how this hideous monster, how this person, just came here and took the life out of my child,” said Ms. Becoat.

She said the loss of her son has left her family devastated.

“I won’t see my son get married. I won’t see my son have children. I won’t see my son take me on that trip he always wanted to take me on,” said Ms. Becoat. “This is just hideous.”

Ms. Becoat said she’s grateful for the law enforcement officers searching for Bethea.

“I just want them to find who did this to my child,” said Becoat. “They took my baby. They took my heartstrings. They took my love. They took him just like that.”

She said she knows justice will be served.

“You may run, but you won’t run forever. You may hide, but you can’t hide forever,” said Becoat when talking about Bethea.

Bethea was located by US Marshals and FBI agents on Thursday in Pennsylvania.

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.