Man Suspected in Brutal D.C. Mansion Fire Murders of Family, Housekeeper May Have Been in Brooklyn Before Returning to D.C.: Police, Sources - NBC New York

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Man Suspected in Brutal D.C. Mansion Fire Murders of Family, Housekeeper May Have Been in Brooklyn Before Returning to D.C.: Police, Sources



    Man Suspected in Brutal D.C. Mansion Fire Murders of Family, Housekeeper May Be in Brooklyn: Police

    Law enforcement sources tell NBC 4 New York U.S. Marshals and the NYPD are tracking leads that suspect Daron Dylon Wint, 34, may be in the area. Authorities picked up Wint's girlfriend at her Brooklyn apartment and were questioning her Thursday; she is not considered a suspect. Brynn Gingras reports. (Published Thursday, May 21, 2015)

    The man suspected in the brutal murders of a family and their housekeeper in an exclusive Washington, D.C., neighborhood last week may be back in Maryland after New York City authorities said earlier he may be in Brooklyn. 

    Law enforcement sources told NBC 4 New York Thursday U.S. Marshals and the NYPD were tracking leads that suspect Daron Dylon Wint, 34, may be in the area. Authorities picked up Wint's girlfriend at her Brooklyn apartment and questioned her; she is not considered a suspect.

    NBC Washington, citing law enforcement sources, reported that he may be back in Maryland and the D.C. area by now. 

    Police were looking into the possibility that Wint took a bus to New York at some point, stayed with his girlfriend Wednesday night and left in the early-morning hours as the national manhunt for him intensified.

    NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce said initial information pointed to Wint having been somewhere in south Brooklyn at some point, though Police Commissioner Bill Bratton emphasized police have not been able to confirm he was in the borough.

    "We have a very active investigation underway at this time assisting our colleagues at the Marshal service and the DC metropolitan police," Bratton said. 

    Wint is considered armed and dangerous and was last seen wearing blue jeans, a blue hooded sweatshirt and white tennis shoes, authorities said. A U.S. military official says Wint enlisted in the Marine Corps about 15 years ago but never made it through basic training and was kicked out after several days. 

    The Marine Corps had no immediate comment.

    A law enforcement official says Wint's girlfriend told investigators the suspect told her he was considering turning himself in. 

    DNA found on a piece of a pizza delivered to the slain family's home led police to Wint, who is now wanted for first-degree murder while armed in the deaths of Savvas Savopoulos, 46; his wife, Amy Savopoulos, 47; their 10-year-old son, Philip; and housekeeper Veralicia "Vera" Figueroa, 57.

    The family had likely been kept bound and threatened overnight May 13, sources close to the investigation told NBC Washington. Police believe the victims were killed the next day, hours after someone delivered $40,000 in cash to the multimillion-dollar house. Some time after the cash arrived, the home was set on fire, leading to the discovery of the bodies, authorities have said.

    The cash had been withdrawn from an account at American Iron Works, where one of the victims was the CEO, the sources told NBC Washington. Police said it's believed Wint worked at the company at some point, and they say that the crime was not random. Authorities say they have not ruled out the possibility that multiple suspects were involved in the murders, though they declined to elaborate.

    The brutal murders in the 3200 block of Woodland Drive NW in Woodley Park, a neighborhood of security systems and landscaped lawns just blocks from the vice president's home and near the National Cathedral, shocked the local community and drew national attention.

    Three of the victims had been beaten and stabbed to death, and some of the bodies smelled of gasoline, police said. The 10-year-old boy was so badly burned that investigators couldn't say if he had been injured before the fire was set, sources close to the investigation told NBC Washington. The boy's body was found in his room; the other three were found on the floor in another bedroom.

    The family Porsche was found burning in a church parking lot in suburban Maryland. Police had circulated the grainy image of a person leaving the scene of the car fire, wearing black clothing.

    Wint has four previous arrests in New York state in the Oswego area; he has at least two assault and harassment convictions from 2007 and an open arrest warrant for violating an order of protection, a source familiar with the investigation tells NBC 4 New York.

    The suspect also has a court record in Maryland's Prince George County that includes charges of assault, carrying concealed weapons and theft. One of those records lists a home address that is less than a half-mile from where the car was found burning. In another case, in 2010, he was arrested near American Iron Works with an open can of beer and a 24-inch machete and a BB gun in a backpack. He pleaded not guilty to charges involving only the alcohol in a plea deal.

    The American Iron Works CEO Wint is accused of killing, Savopoulos, and his wife, Amy, were well known in the neighborhood, often hosting parties for neighbors and friends, according to The Washington Post; the family had attended St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral in the neighborhood.

    Their son Philip was a fourth-grader at St. Albans, the private school near St. Sophia and the National Cathedral; two daughters were away at private boarding schools.

    Neighbors who have been in the home told NBC Washington the family had an extensive and valuable art collection, which was on display several years ago during the Christmas house tour put on by St. Albans.

    The timeline of events that investigators are working from seems to match information from a longtime housekeeper for the Savopoulos family, who said she was a good friend of Veralicia Figueroa.

    Nelly, who didn't want her full name used for security reasons, owns her own cleaning company and worked for the family for more than two decades. Nelly allowed Figueroa to work with her at the Savopoulos family's home, NBC Washington reports.

    On May 13, Figueroa texted Nelly to say she wanted to work at the home, and planned to finish by 3 p.m., Nelly told NBC Washington. That evening, Nelly missed a call from Savvas Savopoulos, saying Figueroa was spending the night at the family's home. She heard the call on voicemail the next morning.

    Nelly said Figueroa's husband went to the home the morning of May 14 to look for her. No one answered the door when he knocked on it, but he told Nelly he had the feeling someone was standing just inside the closed door.

    He went around the back of the house to knock again. As he did, Nelly said, Savopoulos called his cellphone. Savopoulos said Figueroa was OK and had spent the night, according to Nelly.
    The fire at the home was reported about four hours later.

    Nelly said Figueroa was hard-working and loved life. She'd come to the United States from El Salvador to earn money before planning to retire next year. 

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