Second suspect arrested in Myrtlewood area homicide -, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Second suspect arrested in Myrtlewood area homicide

Suspect arrested in murder investigation (Source: Cumberland County Sheriff's Office) Suspect arrested in murder investigation (Source: Cumberland County Sheriff's Office)
Source: Jon Dick/WMBF Source: Jon Dick/WMBF
Matthew Rivera (Source: JRLDC) Matthew Rivera (Source: JRLDC)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A second arrest has been made in connection with Tuesday's homicide near Wild Iris Drive in the Myrtlewood community, according to the Horry County Police Department.

Matthew Isaiah Rivera was taken into custody Thursday evening in Fayetteville, N.C. on a warrant charging him with murder, according to information from the HCPD. North Carolina authorities assisted in the apprehension. According to WRAL, Rivera is a Fort Bragg soldier. 

Earlier Thursday, Marquis Shawn Brown, 27, was also arrested in Fayetteville. He will be extradited back to Horry County soon.

After determining Brown was in Fayetteville, Horry County detectives traveled to the city to work with the Fayetteville Police Department in order to take him into custody.

Brown faces a murder charge in Horry County. He’s also being held on a combined $40,000 bond on the charges listed below out of Cumberland County, North Carolina:

  •  possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana
  •  possession with intent to manufacture/sell/or distribute heroin
  •  manufacture marijuana
  •  manufacture cocaine
  •  manufacture of a schedule I controlled substance
  •  possession with intent to manufacture/sell/or distribute cocaine
  •  possession with intent to manufacture/sell/or distribute marijuana
  •  possession of marijuana up to ½ oz./ possession of marijuana paraphernalia
  •  no operator’s license/ registration plates improperly attached
  •  fictitious/altered title/registration card/tag
  •  speeding & driving while license revoked

“The Horry County Police Department would like to thank our local, state, and federal partners, both in South and North Carolina for assisting us with this investigation,” said Captain John Harrelson with Horry County Police.

Horry County Deputy Coroner Michelle McSpadden identified the victim as 42-year-old Mark Verhasselt.

Verhasselt was from Fayetteville, but lived in the Myrtle Beach area on and off for several years, according to McSpadden. Verhasselt died of a gunshot wound and the Horry County Police Department is the investigating agency.

Neighbors who live in the Myrtlewood complex said they first heard gunshots fired at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday and multiple people called 911. They said the body wasn't discovered by HCPD until almost six hours after the gun shots.

According to a police report released Thursday, an officer responded to an alleged assault at Bouvardia Place at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Once at the scene the officer found the victim lying on the ground beside the rear passenger side of a Chevy Silverado with an apparent gunshot wound and his head covered in blood, the report states.

The report also mentions what appeared to be shell casings from a handgun beside Verhasselt’s body.

The truck he was found lying beside was running at the time with both the front driver side door and rear passenger side door open.

Three witnesses told Horry County Police they heard gunshots around 12:30 that morning, according to the report. One witness said he was awoken by a “loud pop.” A second witness described hearing between four and six gunshots. The third witness told officers he heard the rapid fire of approximately six to seven gunshots.

WMBF News also talked to people who heard the gunshots.

“All of a sudden we heard, 'bang, bang, bang,' and a couple minutes later, a couple more shots. We got here around 12:30 a.m. and we were sitting on our lanai, said Ralph Neff, who was staying in Magnolia Pointe with his family. "It was upsetting this morning (Tuesday) when we found out somebody was killed, but we’re from Cleveland and Cleveland gets homicide also. We thought it was further away and we didn’t know what to do. My son is a nurse and thought maybe he should have checked on these people, but you could have been shot too if you went over there.”

Steve Kochmaruk lives on the first floor of the building where the shooting happened. He said he went out to his car around 2 a.m. and didn’t see any cops or hear any commotion.

“My roommate came up to me and asked if I heard any gunshots last night and I said no I didn’t, and he said, 'There’s a body out there,' and I said 'What?' I’ve never heard of anything like this. It’s a really safe neighborhood; it has security and everything. I’ve been in way worse places and hadn’t seen it. I was really shocked. It's unreal, striking happening this close to home. It’s just something you never expect," said Kochmaruk.

John Pidich has lived in Magnolia Pointe for almost five years. He said Tuesday morning he was trying to leave his house when he saw all of the police cars and said the entire area is typically very quiet and safe.

“When I turned my car around to go out, my neighbor said he was told there was a murder at Magnolia Pointe and the police had knocked on his door and asked if he knew anything. It's just sad, very sad to hear something like this," said Pidich.

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