Rockford's Independent Newspaper

New charges announced in death of Rockford rapper; suspect at large

Staff Report

ROCKFORD – A third suspect has been charged in the June death of a Rockford man, police officials announced Thursday. 

Dakota Graff, 21, is wanted on charges of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, residential burglary and concealment of a homicidal death. The allegations are in connection with the death of 23-year-old William Pickering, a rapper who performed under the names Billy Da Kid and EBE Bandz.

Pickering went missing in early June. Police made several unsuccessful attempts to locate him and  found his vehicle near his home and his dog inside his apartment.

June 20, 2019, police located a crime scene at 5200 Indianhead Avenue and Pickering’s remains at an undisclosed location in unincorporated Winnebago County.

William Arzate, 22, of Rockford, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and single counts of concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice. Manuel Ramirez, 22, of Rockford, faces charges of concealment of a homicidal death and obstructing justice. Both men have pleaded not guilty and are free on bond.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dakota Graff should contact the Rockford
Police Department at 815-966-2900 or Crime Stoppers at 815-963-7867.

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