A British man who allegedly killed his estranged wife and mother-in-law in Clovis, Calif., last week was arrested early Wednesday in a homeless encampment along the state’s Central Coast, authorities said.
Dave McCann, 49, was arrested at about 1:30 a.m. in Seaside, after police received a tip from a homeless person who led authorities to where he was sleeping, Clovis police Chief Matt Basgall said in a news conference.
McCann, 49, had been on the run since authorities discovered the bodies of Tierney Cooper-McCann, 36, of Fresno and Judith Cooper, 68, of Paso Robles. The mother and daughter were found stabbed to death in the Clovis home where they lived about 4 a.m. Saturday, police said.
Ty Wood, a spokesman for the Clovis Police Department, said McCann and Cooper-McCann were married but estranged.
Police received a tip that McCann got a ride in the Big Sur area over the weekend and was dropped off at a McDonald’s in Seaside, Basgall said.
Wood told The Times that the motorist who gave McCann a ride was unaware he was a suspect in a crime but informed police when they later found out.
Authorities found McCann on Wednesday sleeping “well off the beaten path, up a bicycle trail and behind a fence.” He was arrested and transported back to Clovis.
The homicides were the first and second of the year in Clovis and have shaken the community, police said.
A woman called police early Saturday to report the stabbings, authorities said.
Cooper-McCann’s sister, Cortney Cooper Rider, told KFSN-TV that she had been inside the home during the attack. She said she heard a banging on the door and ran to wake everyone before McCann kicked the door in.
“I went in and grabbed the phone and was getting ready to call 911, and by the time I walked out he was slitting her throat,” she said. “He looked at me and said, ‘You’re next.’”
Cooper Rider said she ran out the front door to a neighbor’s house to call the police.
McCann had gone to the Clovis Police Department on Friday to request officers be present when he went to the residence to retrieve some personal property because he had moved out of the home, police Capt. Tom Roberts said Sunday.
Officers went with him to the house, where he picked up some personal effects, “had a short interaction” with someone there and then left, Roberts said. He was cooperative, police said.
The women’s bodies were found hours later.
McCann is believed to have fled Clovis in a 16-foot white Penske moving truck. Authorities found the truck in Paso Robles, more than 100 miles from the crime scene, Saturday night, Roberts said.
Clovis police said in a statement that he abandoned the truck “in the same neighborhood of a family member of the victim’s.” He then is believed to have broken into that relative’s home and stolen a mountain bike, which he used to flee, police said.
McCann then disappeared, Basgall said Wednesday, and police had to rely on tips from the public, many of them coming through social media.
“There was no technology to be used, there were no cellphones, there were no ATM transactions or anything else to use,” Basgall said of the search for McCann. “So the way this case was made was just by old-fashioned police work and getting out there and talking to people and the citizens providing those tips.”