Divers search canal along US-27 in Hendry County for evidence in Bee Love homicide

Published: May 25, 2022 12:19 PM EDT
Updated: May 25, 2022 4:20 PM EDT

A massive underwater search took place in Hendry Country on Wednesday as authorities searched a canal to look for evidence in the homicide of Bee Love.

Love was a 23-year-old transgender woman who was found burned in her vehicle in the Harlem Heights neighborhood of Clewiston in Sept. of 2019.

The Hendry County Sheriff’s Office arrested Marcus Lynell Thompson, 35, of Moore Haven, in Love’s death. He is accused of first-degree homicide-accessory after the fact and arson after the fact.

Detectives organized a massive dive expedition to search a canal along the northbound lanes of US-27 from Clewiston to Moore Haven.

The investigators are looking for a gun that the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office said is critical to find.

Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden said the crews would work until it’s too dark and they can’t see anymore or find exactly what they’re looking for.

Law enforcement from across south Florida joined with Hendry’s major crimes unit and dive teams along the half-mile stretch of US-27, where the water is shallow or dried up. They are using metal detectors, even getting on their hands and knees, hoping to find the gun that the sheriff said was somehow used in the 2019 murder of Bee Love.

“These things, you know, sometimes it pays off, and sometimes it doesn’t, but you know the point is that we take every measure that we can we go above and beyond what we what we need to do to try and find this you know we don’t homicides is the most heinous act that could be committed,” said Whidden.

This is the first hint that the transgender woman may have died by gunfire.

Thompson was arrested for his role as an accessory to the killing, but he is not charged with Love’s murder. That suspect is still out there.

Detectives with Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit continue to seek out information and look for potential evidence related to this crime.

Agencies involved in the new search for evidence are: Hendry County Sheriff’s Office, Lee County Sheriff’s Office, Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office, Collier County Sheriff’s Office, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Highlands County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC), and Cape Coral Police Department.

“This was a heinous crime,” said Sheriff Steve Whidden. “Our Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit are relentless. We are going to continue to follow up on every lead we get. We want justice for Slater: and closure for the family.”