The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office said they have arrested someone involved in the death of 23-year-old Bee Love but they have not captured the killer.
Love, a transgender woman, was found burned in a vehicle in the Harlem neighborhood of Clewiston in September of 2019.
Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said they arrested Marcus Lynell Thompson, 35, of Moore Haven, and plan to charge him with first-degree homicide-accessory after the fact and arson after the act.
Whidden said his detectives worked diligently but declined to comment on the main suspect in the homicide.
“It is still very active,” Whidden said.
Several hundred people were interviewed and more than 50 search warrants are part of the investigation, Whidden said.
The agency also received help from the FBI, Whidden said.
A person of interest in Love’s murder was previously named that same month but Whidden said they have since been cleared.
Friends of Love have said they believed she was targeted based on her gender identity.
But on Wednesday during the announcement, Whidden said it has yet to be determined if suspects will be charged with a hate crime.
Whidden said he could not comment on the specifics of the case and said it has yet to be determined if suspects will be charged with a hate crime.
“As far as the community goes, just know we are on top of this,” Whidden said.
Legal expert Pam Seay said the warrant allows officials to obtain more evidence in the case.
“They either want to show that this person actually committed the crime or they can find out from additional evidence, who was the actual perpetrator,” Seay said.
Love’s mother declined to speak on camera but said she was relieved by the arrest.
Love’s best friend Jackson said she was someone you considered a sister.
“We all understand death but the thing we can’t wrap our head around is how she died,” Jackson said. “The way she died … I was thinking I was having a nightmare and that nightmare has not ended.”
“One thing we can’t change for certain is what happened to Bee Love,” said her friend Jackson. “She’s gone and there’s nothing we can do about that.”
But Jackson said the one thing that can be done is make sure justice is served.
“Now that we have somebody I’m glad, I’m grateful and I’m just hoping this nightmare will be over sooner rather than later,” Jackson said.
Watch below or click here.