RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide

RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide
RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - The Richland County Sheriff’s Department has arrested two men in connection with two bodies that were found burning in a car in Sumter County.

Joshua F. Ellison, 34, was arrested on April 3 by the Richland County Fugitive Task Force. Ellison has been charged with two counts of murder. He also faces charges conspiracy, arson and two counts of desecration of human remains by the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office.

RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide
RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

Willie Edward Singleton, 30, was arrested on April 2 by the Myrtle Beach Police Department. Singleton has been charged with two counts of murder. SCSO is charging him with conspiracy, arson and two counts of desecration of human remains. The Myrtle Beach Police Department is also charging him with possession of a stolen vehicle.

RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide
RCSD: Arrest made in connection with Sumter County arson, homicide (Source: Richland County Sheriff's Department)

On March 23, the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office responded to a vehicle fire, where they discovered the bodies.

The Sumter County Coroner’s Office later identified the victims as Janio Lopes and Rachel Ravenell.

Investigators were contacted that same evening when SLED discovered that the vehicle was registered in Richland County. At that time, both agencies were working together to determine what happened.

An investigation revealed that the murders occurred at different locations in Richland County.

“The cooperation of all agencies was instrumental in solving this heinous crime and arresting those responsible,” said Sheriff Leon Lott.

“I commend the investigators from each cooperating agency for working diligently and tirelessly to make arrests for these brutal and senseless killings and close the case,” Sheriff Anthony Dennis added.

Ellison is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center. Singleton is being held at the Horry County jail but will be transferred to the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.

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