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Men accused of murdering Rockford rapper, hiding body, released on bond

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Two men accused of killing a Rockford rapper and covering it up said they didn’t do it in court on Thursday.

William Arzate and Mauel Ramirez entered Not Guilty pleas today.

Prosecutors say the pair were involved in the murder of William Pickering in June. Pickering was also known as EBE Bandz and Billy Da Kid

Court records show both men were released on bond. Arzate was held on a $1 million bond, which means 10 percent ($100,000) was paid for his release.

On Saturday, June 1st, Rockford Police officers went to the home of William Pickering, in the 500 block of Fisher Avenue, behind the Valencia Apartments, to conduct a welfare check.

Police say that even though his vehicle was at the location, they could not locate Pickering, .

Rockford Police Chief Dan O’Shea said information lead to the identification of several people of interest in his disappearance, including William Arzate, 22, and Manuel Ramierez, 22.

O’Shea said that the investigation led them to 5200 Indianhead Avenue on June 20th, where a crime scene was located.

Further information led police to an undisclosed location in unincorporated Winnebago County where Pickering’s remains were located.

Arzate is charged with First Degree Murder and Concealment of a Homicide and is due back in court on August 6th.

Ramirez is charged with Concealment of a Homicide and will appear in early September.

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