FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A British man suspected of slashing his wife and mother-in-law to death with a knife at a central California home was found hiding 150 miles away at a coastal homeless camp after a four-day manhunt, police said Wednesday.
A tip from a homeless person led investigators to a sleeping Dave Thomas McCann, 49, and he was taken into custody on suspicion of killing his wife, Tierney Cooper McCann, 36, and her mother, Judith Cooper, 68.
Tierney McCann's sister, Cortney Rider, said she was at the home in Clovis on Saturday when Dave McCann kicked down the door and attacked her family. She told KFSN-TV in Fresno that she watched him cut her sister's throat.
"He looked at me and said, 'You're next,' and I immediately ran out the front door and ran to the next door neighbors," Rider told the TV station.
She said her mother was hiding in a bedroom, but he knocked down the door and slit her throat. McCann's failing marriage and folding business may be what caused him to snap, Rider said.
After the slayings, McCann drove a moving truck toward the coast, abandoning it two hours away in the city of Paso Robles, police say. From there, he may have ridden a bicycle and hitched rides north to the coastal town of Seaside, investigators said.
McCann did not use a cellphone and did not withdraw money from an ATM, which could have pinpointed his location, Clovis Police Chief Matt Basgall said at a news conference in Seaside after the arrest.
"This is a case where Mr. McCann went off the grid," Basgall said.
A break in the search came when a homeless person tipped off investigators to McCann's whereabouts. Officers found McCann asleep at the homeless camp, Basgall said.
A day before the slayings, McCann had gone to the Clovis Police Department and asked an officer to accompany him to the home to collect some of his personal belongings, which happened without incident, said Janet Stoll-Lee, a police spokeswoman.
McCann is a British citizen living in the United States on a green card, she said. She did not know what country he is from or whether he had an attorney yet to comment on his behalf.