SACRAMENTO COUNTY (CBS13) — The former Cal Fire battalion chief accused of murdering his girlfriend has been caught, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department confirms.
Orville “Mo” Fleming has been found alive and is currently in sheriff’s custody. Detectives tell CBS13 that he was found at a bus stop in Elk Grove, not far from where he abandoned his Cal Fire truck. Sources also say that it looks likely that he had been hiding out in the area since the murder.
Fleming faces an open count of murder.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Det. Brian Meux said Fleming had been hiding under bushes for more than two weeks. A detective happened to spot him near the scene.
Fleming had shaved his mustache and changed his clothes but otherwise his appearance hadn’t changed. He was taken into custody without incident.
RAW VIDEO: Sacramento County Sheriff Press Conference On Fleming Arrest
Fleming, 55, had been on the run since May 1. Authorities accuse Fleming of brutally murdering his 26-year-old girlfriend Sarah Jane Douglas at a home the two shared in Elk Grove. Douglas was found brutally murdered and left face down on the floor, her family told CBS13.
Shortly after the bloody crime scene was discovered, Fleming’s truck was found unoccupied at an Elk Grove neighborhood residents said he frequented.
Fleming was a Madera city firefighter for three years before joining the state as a fire engineer when the city contracted with Cal Fire to provide fire protection in 1993. He was promoted to fire captain in 2001 and to battalion chief in 2012, his most recent post being at the Cal Fire training facility outside of Ione.
After Fleming disappeared, he was fired from the agency for missing five consecutive days of work.
Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant had this to say Friday about Fleming’s arrest: “We are pleased that this search is over and the Sheriff’s Office has apprehended Mr. Fleming. We will continue to support the Sheriff and the District Attorney in any way we can as the judicial process continues.”
Cal Fire personnel throughout California were put on alert for Fleming, who was said to have the keys to the agency’s facilities across the state.
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