Federal authorities may join the search for a Cal Fire chief wanted for murdering his fiancee.
Investigators believe Orville Fleming may be using his access to remote Cal Fire facilities to hide out.
Deputies say he’s known to frequent the Sierra, the Santa Cruz mountains, the Yosemite Valley, and he has access to places the public does not.
He abandoned his Cal Fire truck last Thursday, but deputies say Orville Fleming took his keys with him, giving the murder suspect access to remote and rural Cal Fire gates, trails, buildings and foot lockers across the state.
“All those things that we know, a survivalist or outdoorsman like we know he is can actually survive and hide much longer,” said Lisa Bowman Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies caution the 55-year-old may have shaved his head and mustache.
“He’s been almost unrecognizable to his friends and family – that’s how drastic his appearance change has been in the past,” Bowman said.
The Cal Fire chief has tattoos on his left arm and bicep, and often wears a baseball cap. Deputies say he likely will have cuts on his hands from the savage murder of his fiancee, Sarah Douglas.
Investigators say Douglas once advertised as a high-priced escort on myredbook.com and it’s possible Fleming may have reached out to someone on the site to help him hide out.
“Somebody had to pick him up and take him somewhere,” Bowman said.
In another twist, what began as a murder investigation is widening as deputies are looking into allegations from Fleming’s estranged wife of a sex tape involving Fleming, Douglas and other firefighters.
If true, that could end up costing firefighters their jobs. Bowman won’t confirm if the tape exists.
“We’re not going to disclose any of the evidence we’ve seized from the house,” she said.
A Cal Fire spokesman says if it’s true, the agency will take necessary action.
Outside the Sacramento County home Fleming and Douglas once shared, her family says the only thing that matters right now is finding the man who took her life.
“Orville Fleming murdered Sarah. That’s a fact. All the rest is irrelevant,” her aunt Trina Werly said.
It’s believed Fleming is armed with .45 caliber and a .25 caliber pistols. Wanted posters have been distributed across California and to four neighboring states.