MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Myrtle Beach police arrested a suspect Monday afternoon in connection with the death of an 82-year-old woman found in a motel room.
Rickey Waddell Wilson, 68, has been charged with murder, according to MBPD Lt. Joey Crosby.
He was located and arrested without incident. The suspect is set to appear before a judge Tuesday morning at 9 a.m., Crosby said.
According to the arrest affidavit, Wilson was allegedly with the victim at the time she checked into the motel on May 20.
He reportedly was the only person to visit the victim, the affidavit stated.
The affidavit also describes how police said Wilson provided misinformation to them about being in the victim’s room, which police realized after talking to witnesses and looking through video surveillance. Those videos also showed Wilson acting suspiciously as he left the victim's room.
Then, when detectives were talking with Wilson they noticed evidence that could be linked to the crime scene. A test proved that evidence had blood on it. Police also found an item in the room after the murder that Wilson had before going into it.
Wilson's arrest comes as part of the MBPD's homicide investigation after the victim was found dead in a room at the Rodeway Inn.
The victim's body was located just before noon Sunday at the motel at 1401 S. Ocean Boulevard. She was pronounced dead on scene. She was identified by Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden as 82-year-old Virginia Harris Eakers; she had been living in the Myrtle Beach area for several years, but moved frequently, so the coroner's office was unable to provide a hometown.
An autopsy revealed that Eakers died from traumatic injuries, and the case has been ruled a homicide.
An employee at Rodeway Inn said Eakers was scheduled to check out Saturday and a man called the hotel saying he would be going up to her room to get her. However, he ended up calling back down to the office to say they would be booking another night. The employee said the two walked to the front desk together and Eakers registered for the second night.
“She was very happy," he said. "She came in. She walked with her cane. She signed her reg card. She said, 'Ok, I’m going to go jump on my motorcycle. I’m going to go ride my bike,' in a joking way. She walked out the door, went to her room and that’s the last I’ve seen of her.”
When Eakers originally checked in, she told the person at the front desk she took a bus to Myrtle Beach to visit with friends, the employee said.
He said the same staff member who was working during the original check-in Friday was also working Sunday morning when Eakers didn't check out by 11 a.m. That staff member called her room and got no answer, so he went to the room.
“Knocked on the door, nobody answered," he said. "Then, he opened the door, heard the water running, so he thought she was taking a shower, so he didn’t say anything. Let her be.”
After several more minutes, the employee asked the head housekeeper to go to the room with him.
“They both walked in the room. The water was running. She was going to yell in there, 'Check out time was 11. We’ll give you a few more minutes to get ready and check out,'" he said. "Then they turned a corner and that’s when they found her.”
The employee said those two staff members discovered Eakers in the bathroom.
“It’s hit us hard," he said. "It’s traumatizing.”
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