DC Mansion Murders: Inside the Search and Arrest of Suspect Daron Wint

Daron Wint has been arrested for the quadruple murder in D.C.

ByABC News
May 22, 2015, 1:00 PM

— -- 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:

Pizza Crust

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.

PHOTO: This combination of undated photos provided by the Washington, D.C., police shows Daron Dylon Wint.
This combination of undated photos provided by the Washington, D.C., police shows Daron Dylon Wint. The police issued a news release late Wednesday, May 20, 2015, saying they are looking for Wint in connection with last Thursday's quadruple homicide of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper inside their multimillion-dollar home.

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 Thursday clarified that they were "not confident" with the testimony that initially led them to believe he was there.

Now that too has changed, with a law enforcement official has now told ABC News that Wint did take a bus up to New York in order to visit his girlfriend who lives in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.

He then hired a private livery cab to drive him back to D.C. either late Wednesday night or early Thursday, paying in cash that may have been the money he is believed to have stolen from the Savopolous home, the source said.

The livery driver has been identified to authorities and may be meeting with investigators now, according to the source.

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.

PHOTO: Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser listens at left as Police Chief Cathy Lanier speaks during a news conference in Washington, May 21, 2015.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser listens at left as Police Chief Cathy Lanier speaks during a news conference in Washington, Thursday, May 21, 2015, to discuss the investigation into the mysterious slayings of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper.

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.

Law enforcement sources have told ABC News that none of the others traveling with Wint were arrested. Wint is the only one facing charges at this time.

ABC News' Aaron Katersky and Jack Date contributed to this report.

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