Sept. 22, 2005 -- Authorities believe a man being hunted in three states in the killings of three people, including a child who was involved in a sex abuse investigation against him, will not be captured alive.
A nationwide task force has been set up to help FBI and local law enforcement officials search for Melvin Keeling, who is suspected of three slayings in Ohio and Indiana. Authorities have been searching for Keeling since Monday, when 13-year-old Katelind Caudill was found shot to death in her bedroom in Deerfield Township, Ohio.
Authorities believe Katelind, a friend of Keeling's oldest stepdaughter, became involved in a sex abuse investigation of Keeling within two days of her death. Katelind was not a victim in the case, authorities said. It was unclear how she was involved.
Keeling is also suspected in the fatal shooting of two store clerks in Remington, Ind. Lisa Kendall, 29, and Kendora Furr, 38, were found shot Monday morning by a customer. Investigators say surveillance video showed a man believed to be Keeling attempting to buy cigarettes.
Authorities said they believe Keeling left a hand-written note to his family that said they wouldn't see him alive again. Indiana police also said they found a "to-do list" they believe Keeling wrote before the slayings. The list, police said, reminded the suspect to get a gun and clothes.
Sources close to the investigation told ABC News affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati that police in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio believe the list and note to his family indicate Keeling is dangerous and will not be taken by authorities alive. Investigators said Keeling may also be armed with a Glock .40-caliber handgun that he recently redeemed from a Cincinnati-area pawnshop.
Van Examined, Reward Offered
In addition to potential murder charges, Keeling faces two counts of rape and 24 counts of gross sexual imposition. Federal authorities in Cincinnati have also filed a warrant charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.
On Tuesday, police said they found his alleged getaway van abandoned in Gary, Ind., just outside Chicago, approximately 60 miles from Remington.
WCPO reported that the van has been taken to a state lab for examination. FBI officials in Cincinnati would not reveal what they found in the vehicle.
"There were items taken from the van, however, the nature of this investigation requires that we do not disclose the nature of that because that's information that should be returned to the Warren County Sheriff and the Warren County Prosecutor," said Stanley Borgia, FBI special agent-in-charge.
Keeling, WCPO reported, was employed at the Ford Motor Company in Sharonville, Ohio, and security there has been increased since the manhunt began. Family Express, the company that employed the two Indiana clerks, has offered a $10,000 reward for any information leading to an arrest in the case.
Authorities have urged anyone with information on Melvin Keeling's whereabouts to call Crimestoppers at (513) 352-3040.
ABC News affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati contributed to this report.