Murder suspect found in Texas, wanted in killing of Columbia man found in Sumter

U.S. Marshals Service search went through several states


A Sumter man wanted for questioning in the February shooting death of his friend was apprehended Wednesday in Texas and now faces a murder charge.

Matthew Tyrell Simmons, 27, was the last person reported to have been seen with Raphel Heywood Bostic before he was shot to death, according to the Sumter Police Department. The U.S. Marshals Service located and arrested him in Dallas.

Simmons was wanted by the police department for questioning in the Bostic case and on assault charges stemming from an unrelated incident in Sumter, according to Tonyia McGirt, public information officer for the department.

He has waived extradition and is expected to be returned to Sumter to face a first-degree assault and battery charge. An additional warrant was signed Thursday morning, McGirt said, charging Simmons with murder in the Bostic death.

The 29-year-old Columbia man was found dead about 1:15 p.m. on Feb. 16 after railway workers discovered his body down an embankment from railroad tracks at Cook and South streets in Sumter, which is behind a neighborhood off McCrays Mill Road and South Guignard Drive. His family had reported him missing earlier that week.

Bostic’s family had told investigators the two men were friends.

U.S. Marshals were asked to assist in the case after Simmons was not located in South Carolina. Their search took them to several states before finding the suspect in Dallas.

A $5,000 reward was on the table for information leading to the arrest of the person responsible for Bostic’s death.