Police believe suspect in Washington quadruple murder may have had accomplices

Reuters News
Posted: May 23, 2015 2:19 PM

By Victoria Cavaliere

(Reuters) - Police in Washington believe that a man charged in the deaths of a wealthy businessman, his wife, son and housekeeper may have had help committing the crime, but said on Saturday no other suspects have been taken into custody.

Daron Dylon Wint, 34, of Lanham, Maryland, was arraigned on Friday on a first degree murder charge.

He is accused of holding captive construction business owner Savvas Savopoulos and the others until he got $40,000 in cash, then killing them and setting fire to their house in the upscale Woodley Park neighborhood of the capital.

The killings "required the presence and assistance of more than one person," a Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police detective wrote in an affidavit filed in court on Friday.

No other arrests have been made and there were no persons of interest in custody on Saturday, said police spokesman Hugh Carew. He said the investigation was still active and police were "not ruling out other suspects."

Authorities say Wint held hostage Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, 47; son Phillip, 10; and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57, for at least 18 hours as he waited for the $40,000 to be delivered by an assistant of Savopoulos. The bodies of the four were found on May 14 after firefighters went to put at a fire at the home.

Wint, who was ordered held without bond, was arrested late on Thursday in the U.S. capital following a manhunt. When he was arrested, Wint was a passenger in a car that was traveling alongside a truck. Police also arrested three men and two women in the vehicles but they were later released, police said.

Police found more than $10,000 in money orders in Wint's car and a stack of $100 bills and more money orders in the truck, court documents said.

Police have said Wint had worked for Savopoulos' company, American Iron Works.

Police identified Wint from DNA found on the crust of a pizza that was delivered to the house late on May 13, the affidavit said.

During the arraignment, defense attorney Natalie Lawson said the government's case was "based on speculation and guesswork."

Prosecutor Emily Miller said: "Simply put, the defendant's DNA was on pizza left in a room with three dead adults."

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Frances Kerry)