3 charged with Florence woman's murder

Rayshawn Bailey

Two Florence men and a 14-year old are under arrest and charged with murder in the death of a missing Florence woman.

Early Wednesday morning, police found 69-year-old Willie Mae Hayes dead in a ditch on Malloy street in Florence. Florence County coroner Bubba Matthews matthews said she had been stabbed several times. Police said tips from neighbors and other witnesses helped led them to the body.

Officers picked up the 14-year old Wednesday afternoon. Because he is a minor, his name is not being released.

Police said the evidence links all three to the crime. Hayes' family is devastated.

"It didn't turn out the way we want, but they found her and at least have closure," said Ernest Dolford, Hayes' brother.

Willie Mae Hayes was last seen Sunday night. Relatives called police after she did not show up for work the next day.

Police worked around the clock to find her, even using a helicopter to do aerial searches.

Early on in the investigation, police questioned 22-year-old David Johnson and 19-year-old Rashawn Bailey. The two live around the corner from Hayes.

On Tuesday night, police charged them with her murder. Florence police chief Anson Shells said the men broke into her house Sunday night and killed her during the robbery.

"We do believe that they entered the house unwelcomed and attacked her while she was in her bed. Following that, removed her body, put it in her car from her house and drove her to that remote location," said Chief Shells.

Willie Mae Hayes' family says she the matriarch of the family and kept them together. They cannot understand why she was killed.

"They could very well rob her, took whatever they could find, and leave. But, to take a life long with it, just do e sn't make sense," said Dolford.

A prayer service is being held for Hayes Wednesday evening at the Monumental Baptist Church in Florence where she was a member.