Marion County sheriff ‘overwhelmed with relief’ following Smith arrest

MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — In an statement first given to News13, Marion County Sheriff Brian Wallace said he was “overwhelmed with relief” by the arrest of a Marion man suspected in the cross-country killings of two first responders.

“Our hearts are not only heavy for our own loss here in the Pee Dee region, but for the loss of New Mexico State Police Officer Justin Hare,” Wallace said.

He confirmed that 32-year-old Jaremy Smith, who New Mexico authorities blame for Hare’s killing, is a person of interest in the death of Phonesia Machado-Fore, 52. The Marion County paramedic’s body was recovered Friday in Dillon County.

Wallace told News13 Smith will remain in the custody of New Mexico State Police to answer charges of murder, as Marion County officials have yet to charge him.

“Our dedication and determination to solve the murder of Phonesia Machado-Fore has not wavered. Federal, state and local agencies remain embedded with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office so that we have essential manpower and resources needed to bring the person or persons to justice,” Wallace said.

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Adam Benson joined the News13 digital team in January 2024. He is a veteran South Carolina reporter with previous stops at the Greenwood Index-Journal, Post & Courier and The Sun News in Myrtle Beach. Adam is a Boston native and University of Utah graduate. Follow Adam on X, formerly Twitter, at @AdamNewshound12. See more of his work here.

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