Early Tuesday morning, 41-year-old Felicia Yvette Rayford was found dead in her 2906 Nation Road home in Hodges just before 12:45 a.m. She was found lying on her living room floor. Greenwood coroner Sonny Cox stated she had been shot at least one time.
Charles Ray Belcher, Sr., age 46, was found about the same time at his home at 234 Devore Road in Donalds. According to The Index-Journal, Coroner Ronnie Ashley identified Belcher and stated he died of a gunshot wound to the chest. This contradicts the news story covered by WYFF4, who reported Belcher committed suicide with a gunshot to the head.
Officials from Greenwood and Abbeville believe the incidents are related. Belcher made a phone call to his brother stating he had killed his girlfriend and was going to kill himself. Belcher then called a female friend, who contacted authorities.
It appears Belcher went to Yvette Rayford’s home, shot her, and then returned home and took his own life.
State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) and the Abbeville County Sheriff’s Office are working on Belcher’s case, and the Violent Crimes Task Force continues to investigate the Hodges murder.
So far there has been no motive released for the shooting. It’s believed Yvette and Belcher were in a relationship. In an interview with WYFF4, her cousin Darnell Louden remembered the slain woman saying
“She was a very caring person. She smiled. She would give you the shirt off her back and would help anybody in any situation. And that’s how she’ll be remembered.”
Autopsies will be performed today.
For information on recent cases involving murder-suicide in Greenwood County, links are listed under recommended reading.