PLANT CITY, Fla. - The third person in command at the Polk County Sheriff's Office was remembered Sunday night. Plant City police say Beatrice "Bea" Dickey was beaten to death by her husband just after midnight. She was the executive director of the Office of Business Affairs at the Sheriff's Office.
"We're absolutely crushed. This is a horrific event for the Sheriff's Office family. We love her and we're going to miss her terribly," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd.
Sheriff Judd said Beatrice was brilliant, talented, and energetic. He also said she was his right-hand and like a sister to him. The sheriff added that Beatrice battled cancer several years ago, only to die, allegedly, at the hands of her husband.
Police say Lawrence Dickey beat his wife with an aluminum bat at their home along the 2,500 block of Paddock Drive. According to the arrest report, a son was sleeping on the couch near the master bedroom when Lawrence woke him and said "I love you, your mother is an angel and will get you through this." The son then heard his father go into the garage, the drop off an aluminum bat, then three thumps coming from the couple's bedroom.
The report also states, Lawrence then drove to the police department and told an officer, "Lock me up. I just beat my wife with a bat. She is hurt real bad."
Neighbors of the Dickeys say they are shocked at what happened, calling the murder "horrific." Several add that it seemed like the couple had a normal relationship and they never noticed anything strange.
Sheriff Judd said they're already getting plans together to honor Beatrice Dickey. Her husband has been charged with first degree murder. It's still unclear exactly what led to the attack.