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Suspect named but few details in killings of wealthy family

Suspect named but few details in mysterious killings of wealthy Washington family, housekeeper

Suspect named but few details in killings of wealthy family

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Savvas Savopoulos was energized. He spent the day sprucing up his suburban martial arts studio for its grand opening with his family's longtime housekeeper. Around 5:30 p.m., his wife called, telling him to come home to watch their 10-year-old son because she had plans.

The housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez, was one of the last people to see Savopoulos alive.

The next day, May 14, firefighters were called to the wealthy executive's Washington mansion, where they found the bodies of 46-year-old Savopoulos, his wife, Amy, 47; their son, Philip; and another housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa. All were slain before the fire was set, police said, and three had been stabbed or bludgeoned.

The Savopouloses lived in Woodley Park, where multimillion-dollar homes are protected by fences and elaborate security systems and local and federal law enforcement officers are a constant presence, in part because Vice President Joe Biden's official residence is nearby.

Savvas Savopoulos was the chief executive of American Iron Works, a construction-materials supplier based that has been involved in major projects in downtown Washington. Company representatives have declined to comment. Savopoulos moonlighted as a martial-arts instructor.

The couple has two surviving teenage daughters who attend boarding schools in other states. Gutierrez said she has seen the daughters since the killings and that they were too distraught to speak.

A week later, investigators have provided few details about the case. Late Wednesday, they announced they had identified a suspect, 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint, but released no information about what his motive might have been.

An arrest warrant has been issued for Wint on charges of first-degree murder, police said.

Investigators used DNA analysis conducted at a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms lab to identify Wint, and his name has been known to federal authorities since Tuesday, a law enforcement official involved in the investigation said. Investigators believe Wint worked for one of Savopoulos' businesses, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the investigation publicly.

The U.S. Marshals Service has joined the search for Wint, said Drew Wade, an agency spokesman. Wint had ties to New York, and police there were working with District of Columbia authorities to help track him down, but so far he has not been spotted in the metropolitan area.

The Washington Post ( ), citing three unnamed law enforcement officials with knowledge of the investigation, reported that the DNA evidence came from the crust of a Domino's pizza that had been ordered to the home the night before the bodies were found.

Following the release of Wint's name, police searched an address for him in Lanham, Maryland. Online court records show that he was convicted of second-degree assault in Maryland in 2009 and sentenced to 30 days in jail. He also pleaded guilty in 2010 to malicious destruction of property, and a burglary charge in that case was dropped, court records show.


Associated Press writer Colleen Long in New York and photographer Alex Brandon in Washington contributed to this report.


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Updated : 2021-09-19 18:39 GMT+08:00