WASHINGTON — The suspect in the killing of a prominent D.C. family was arrested in northeast Washington, D.C., Thursday night, law enforcement sources said.
Police had been searching for 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint, who is suspected in last week’s gruesome slayings of the Savopoulos family and their housekeeper, after his DNA was purportedly found on a pizza crust at the scene.
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“Right now, you have just about every law enforcement officer across the country that is aware of his open warrant, and are looking for him. I think even his family has made pleas for him to turn himself in, and I would just reiterate that it’s much easier if he just turns himself in,” said D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier.
The bodies of Savopoulos, along with his wife, Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip and the family’s housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, were discovered the afternoon of May 14 after firefighters responded to reports of a fire.
Lanier sought to reassure the public by saying the killings were likely not a random crime. Wint apparently used to work at American Iron Works, where Savvas Savopoulos was CEO and president. It was unclear whether Wint had been fired.
U.S. Marshals and NYPD detectives questioned a woman believed to be Wint’s girlfriend, according to two law enforcement sources involved in the investigation. The sources said the girlfriend, who lives in Brooklyn, told authorities that she spoke to Wint and that he was planning to turn himself in.
Investigators identified Wint in an unusual way.
They discovered his DNA on the crust of a Domino’s pizza — one of two delivered to the Savopoulos home May 14 as the family was held hostage inside — a source familiar with the investigation said.
The Savopouloses lived in a mansion in a tony, embassy-dotted neighborhood near the home of Vice President Joe Biden. They have two other children, both daughters, who were away at boarding school at the time.
The victims suffered from blunt force trauma. Authorities believe the four were killed before the house was set ablaze, according to the source familiar with the investigation.
The source said the victims were bound with duct tape, and there were signs that Philip had been stabbed and tortured before he was set on fire.
The pizza apparently was paid for with cash left in an envelope on the porch, according to police.
Lanier said authorities believe that Wint, who is wanted on first-degree murder charges, fled to New York City.
Police are looking into whether Wint spent the night at this girlfriend’s home in Brooklyn, a law enforcement official said. She told police he arrived by bus Wednesday night.
Wint has a previous criminal history. According to court records, he has faced multiple charges over the years, including theft, assault and a sexual offense.
He attended Marine Corps recruit training in 2001, but left before completing the camp. It was not clear why.
“I feel very sad for them, for the pain they’re going through, which is not their fault,” said Devera Zianal, a neighbor of Wint’s parents. “Whatever happened, if he is guilty, he had choices. I know he was not raised this way.”
Lanier said the possibility of additional suspects has not been ruled out.