(WASHINGTON) — The man accused of murdering a family and their housekeeper inside their D.C. mansion — before setting it on fire was caught late Thursday night following a multi-state manhunt that stretched from Maryland to New York City.
“It’s been a very active and busy over 48 hours for us,” U.S. Marshal’s Commander Robert Fernandez told ABC News.
Daron Wint was named a suspect in the murder of Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their son Phillip and their housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, whose bodies were found in the Savopoulos home after it was set on fire May 14.
Here is how it went down:
Police did not publicly release Wint’s name until a week later, after they were able to positively match trace DNA they found on an uneaten pizza crust left inside the mansion. In the hours before and after the public announcement, the manhunt was on.
Fernandez said that investigators were able to trace the Prince George’s County, Maryland, resident to Brooklyn, New York on Wednesday night, but they were too late.
U.S. Marshal’s and New York Police Department officers “went to the location, but he had just fled so they barely missed him,” Fernandez said.
New York City
NYPD sources told ABC News that they still are not certain that Wint was ever actually in Brooklyn. While police said they did trace his phone to the borough, they have no other evidence except his girlfriend’s testimony placing him physically in New York.
While D.C. Police Commissioner Cathy Lanier said she believed he was in Brooklyn at around noon on Thursday, New York investigators later clarified that they were “not confident” with the testimony that initially led them to believe he was there.
Fernandez said the U.S. Marshals moved on and used additional information, though he did not specify what that intelligence was. It ultimately tracked Wint to College Park, Maryland.
“We were able to marry up the information that we were getting from both locations and determined that he was en route back to the D.C. area. We just had to figure out where he was heading,” Fernandez said.
Back in Maryland
Authorities placed Wint at a Howard Johnson’s and planned to arrest him inside, but Fernandez said plans changed.
“Things are always fluid when you’re trying to find a human body and they’re mobile and before we could get to the hotel, two vehicles left and he was in one of the vehicles,” Fernandez said.
The 20 vehicles that law enforcement had near the hotel then began following the two cars as they were driving north along Route 1. Officers were waiting to “take down” the car because they wanted to be certain he was in the vehicle. Right then the cars made “a wacky U-turn” and the Marshals thought they had been “made,” Fernandez said.
Apparently they hadn’t because the car trail carried on into Washington D.C. until just after 11 p.m. when the arrest was finally made.
“We reached the point where we knew we could take tactically take them down safely so we did without a vehicle pin maneuver on both vehicles and were able to stop them and arrest everybody with not a shot fired,” Fernandez said.
Wint was in a car with another man and two women, and two other men were in the second car, authorities said.
None of the others have been publicly identified and it is unknown whether or not they are still in police custody or if they have been arrested.
Wint is due in D.C. Superior Court Friday afternoon for an initial hearing.
Copyright © 2015, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.
Recent posts in National News