Domestic abuse, a burning car, a burned-down building and finally a double homicide: California authorities on Tuesday arrested a man they say allegedly waged a campaign of mounting violence against his estranged wife, whom he suspected was involved with another man amid their pending divorce.
Alan Dupras, 58, was taken into custody on Tuesday morning at 8:30 o’clock at the Kingsburg home he once shared with 55-year-old Jennifer Dupras.
He remains behind bars in lieu of $3.14 million bail. He has not yet entered a plea or retained an attorney.
Fresno County sheriff’s officials told reporters later Tuesday that Alan allegedly committed two counts of murder, two counts of arson, possession of assault weapons and vandalism. Prosecutors announced Wednesday that he had been formally charged with those crimes.
Given the allegations involved, Alan could face the death penalty.
“I feel very relieved,” the Dupras’ daughter, Alison, tells PEOPLE. “It was a good, happy surprise.”
Police discovered the bodies of Jennifer — a former elementary school principal who retired in 2017 — and her 88-year-old mom, Cynthia Houk, in Houk’s northwest Fresno home on Dec. 11.
Both had been shot multiple times.
Jennifer and her mom were found about 4 p.m. after Jennifer didn’t show up to lunch with her old co-workers earlier that day. Jennifer’s last contact with friends and family was on Dec. 9.
Investigators ruled out robbery as a motive early on, pointing to the lack of forced entry, and said Jennifer and Houk may have known their killer.
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Adding to the mystery, a car was set on fire at Houk’s home in late November and the headquarters of a French club where Jennifer was a member burned down a few days later, in early December, authorities said.
The slayings unnerved the residents of the usually quiet neighborhood, Tony Botti, with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, told PEOPLE: “We don’t have a ton of calls over there and nothing like a homicide. Something like this really kind of rocked that neighborhood.”
At the time of the shootings, Botti said they had not identified a suspect yet — but Alan was a person of interest.
At Tuesday’s news conference, Fresno Sheriff Margaret Mims cited “technology and digital data” that helped secure Alan’s arrest, including evidence “we received just this month” that was “really needed to confirm that he was in fact the suspect.”
However, a search warrant and supporting affidavit released this summer, before Alan’s arrest, lays out a series of allegedly incriminating discoveries in the murder investigation.
For example, in December, investigators say they learned from a relative of Alan’s that he had drunkenly “bragged” about setting Houk’s car on fire and then concealed his fingerprints.
He had also researched ways to disable the computer in his truck in order to hide its location while driving, the warrant’s probable cause affidavit alleges.
A truck matching the one that Alan drove was seen in the area of the shootings on Dec. 9, according to the warrant affidavit. The affidavit also states that someone driving a truck matching Alan’s was seen starting the December fire at the club where Jennifer was a member.
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Alison had told authorities that her parents’ divorce was initiated by her mom, who had allegedly been abused by Alan, according to the warrant affidavit. Since the split, Alan allegedly attempted to learn more about the man Jennifer was seeing.
On Tuesday, Sheriff Mims said that he did not resist arrest when authorities finally arrived at his door. He said he had “expected” them to contact him, according to Mims.
“What he did was extremely violent,” Mims said. “It was extremely personal.”