Authorities have identified a 34-year-old man as the suspect in last week’s quadruple homicide inside a Washington mansion that was also set ablaze.
Daron Dylon Wint is wanted on charges of first-degree murder while armed, the Metropolitan Police Department said Tuesday night.
Detectives have not released a motive for the killing, but investigators believe money was a prime factor.
“Whoever was in the house was looking for money,” a source with knowledge of the investigation told CNN Wednesday. A separate law enforcement source disclosed that the assailant — or assailants — who set the mansion on fire and killed residents Savvas Savopolos, his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip and the family’s housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, got away with $40,000.
The Washington Post and a local NBC station reported Wednesday that one of Savopolos’ employees came to the mansion while the incident was ongoing and dropped off a package with $40,000 inside.
The victims were found to have suffered from blunt force trauma, and, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation, authorities believe the four victims were killed prior to the house being set ablaze. The source said the victims were bound with duct tape and held captive by the perpetrators. There were signs of torture to at least one of the victims.
The developments offer some clarity to an incident that’s puzzled observers since firefighters were called to tackle a fire on the second floor of the Savopolous’ home . At that time, police flagged a blue Porsche that went missing from the home and was found Thursday afternoon, abandoned and ablaze.
A few details offering hints at the run-up to the incident have emerged in the days following the fire.
Bernardo Alfaro, the husband of the slain housekeeper, added another piece to the puzzle in an exclusive interview with CNN affiliate WJLA Wednesday. He said he received a phone call from Savvas Savopoulos when he went to check in on his wife on Thursday, telling him she hadn’t come home the night before because she was at the hospital with a sick Amy Savopoulos.
“I’m sorry because I didn’t call you,” Alfaro said Savopoulos told him. “(Veralicia) is at the hospital … she has to stay with my wife because she was feeling bad and asked Vera to go with her.”
Alfaro said he thought that explanation was curious.
“I started thinking, ‘Why? She doesn’t drive. She doesn’t speak very good English,'” he said.
Alfaro saw his wife for the last time after 10 years of marriage on Wednesday, when he took her to the bus to go to work. His last words to her were, “I love you, God bless you.”
When he tried to call his wife that afternoon, Alfaro said, the phone went straight to voicemail. She didn’t come home that night, and when Alfaro went to the house the next day to investigate, he saw something was amiss.
“I saw the two cars … the Porsche was on the street … I kept knocking on the door,” he said.
Before he could investigate further, he received the call from Savopoulos offering the explanation for her absence.
A second housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez, also received a suspicious text message from Amy Savopolous just hours before the fire began telling her to stay home.
The day before, Gutierrez had received a voicemail from Savvas Savopoulos telling her not to come the following day because his wife was sick.
“Sometimes you never understand why something happens, but I’m lucky I’m still here,” Gutierrez told CNN’s Joe Johns.
Savvas Savopoulos was the CEO and president of American Iron Works, a building materials manufacturer based in Hyattsville, Maryland, and has two other children, both daughters, who were away at boarding school at the time of the incident. The family’s home drew notice in part because of its location in a tony, embassy-dotted neighborhood in northwest D.C., just a few minutes from the Vice President Joe Biden’s residence.