DC Mansion Murders: Police Believe Suspect Daron Dylon Wint Had Help
Daron Dylon Wint, the ex-convict accused in the murders of businessman Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, likely had help when he took the family captive on May 13, police claim.
Wint, who was finally apprehended Thursday in northeast Washington D.C. after a manhunt took police from the nation’s capital to Brooklyn and back, appeared in court Friday, where he was ordered held in jail on murder charges.
But police do not believe that Wint acted alone, according to court documents obtained by the Associated Press. Authorities think the killings “required the presence and assistance of more than one person.”
Wint, who previously worked for Savopoulos’s company, American Iron Works, was traveling with five other people in two cars when he was arrested. It’s unclear if these individuals, identified only as three men and two women, were also involved in the murders.
The 34-year-old, who has long history of run-ins with the law, was identified thanks to DNA found on a partially eaten slice of pepperoni pizza left at the scene of the crime, a police source told PEOPLE. Having been arrested and charged multiple times in various crimes, Wint’s DNA was already in a police database.
A charging document obtained by the AP offered more details on what happened that fateful Wednesday when Wint allegedly took the family hostage.
The four were likely held for at least 18 hours, during which Savopoulos scrambled to pull together $40,000 in cash. They worked hard to keep people away from the home during the hostage situation, with Savopoulos calling his other housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez, and telling her to stay home on Thursday.
Meanwhile, when pizza was ordered to the home – the same pizza that would eventually help authorities identify Wint – a woman believed to be Amy paid for it by credit card and urged the deliverer to leave it outside because she was “nursing her sick child.”
Once Savopoulos’s assistant dropped off the $40,000 on the seat of a red sports car in the family’s garage, Wint struck and stabbed the CEO, as well as the other three, before setting fire to the house. Police say the fire began from the mattress that 10-year-old Philip was tied to. His body was burned beyond recognition.
Wint is being represented by public defender Natalie Lawson, who argued police lack probable cause, noting that the original person of interest in the case, who was seen driving the family’s blue Porsche that was later found torched in Maryland, had short hair.
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