AceShowbiz - Rapper EBE Bandz a.k.a. Billy Da Kid passed away at 23 years old. His body was found in a suburb of Chicago, in unincorporated Winnebago County on Thursday, June 20, nearly three weeks after he was reported missing.
The rapper, whose real name was William Pickering, was reported missing since June 1. Police had been initially investigating suspicious activity near the Valencia Apartments where he had been residing. From there, detectives located the crime scene on Thursday.
They believe Pickering was killed on or around May 25. Investigators say he was killed beaten with a bat before his body was set on fire. Two men have been arrested in relation to Pickering's death. William Arzate, 22, was booked two counts of first-degree murder and one count of concealment of a homicidal death, while Manuel Ramirez, 22, was charged with concealment of a homicidal death.
Arzate is accused of hitting the victim in the head with a baseball bat, resulting in his death. He and Ramirez then allegedly transported the body to the woods in Winnebago County, where they then set it on fire.
The suspects' bonds are set at $1 million and $500,000. Police say they are also searching for 20-year-old Dakota Graff, who is wanted in connection to the case on a number of unrelated outstanding warrants. Rockford Police Chief Dan O'Shea has stated that the police are continuing to look for other people of interest.
Pickering's manager Big C reacted to the arrests on the late rapper's Instagram page. Posting photos of the two suspects, he wrote, "I knew it I knew it. My blood is boiling cuz he talked about dude all the time but never said his name. The was supposed to be his friend."
People have also taken to Twitter to mourn his death. "Damn this s**t is cold. RIP EBE Bandz," one wrote. Another sent his sympathy to Pickering's family and his group mates, "Just read on what happened to (EBE BANDZ) my heart going out to y'all boyz & the whole (GMEBE FAMILY) @EBEDINEROO @JPArmani_ LongLive BANDZ."
"Only heard a few of son’s jawns but RIP EBE Bandz. Crazy news, may God shine his merciful light on his soul," another prayed for him. Someone else wrote, "RIP EBE Bandz. My condolences to his family. It was f***ed up what happened to him."
EBE Bandz started writing raps at the age of 16. He was a member of rap group GMEBE. He first gained notoriety after doing a Vlad TV interview in 2015.