The man accused of bludgeoning an elderly Massachusetts couple to death in their home has been arrested in Florida, putting an end to a days long manhunt, authorities announced Saturday.
Miami Police arrested 27-year-old Christopher Keeley around 8:20 p.m. on Friday night in Miami Beach, according to a statement released by the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. NBC Boston reported that the arrest occurred shortly after Keeley allegedly attacked a man with a hammer, and that the suspect died his hair red in an effort to evade authorities.
Keeley was wanted in connection with the killings of Carl and Vicki Mattson, who were both 70 and found bludgeoned and stabbed in their home in Marshfield, a suburb about 30 miles southeast of Boston. Police found the bodies Tuesday night, when they arrived to conduct a well-being check, the district attorney’s office said in a news release Wednesday. Police also found a dead dog inside the home, according to the district attorney’s office.
The Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is investigating the cause and manner of the victims’ deaths.
Miami-Dade County jail records show Keeley was arrested on a warrant as an out-of-state fugitive. It was not immediately clear whether Keeley has retained a lawyer.
Representatives for the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Massachusetts State Police did not immediately respond to questions. A representative for the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office could not immediately be reached.
The Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office launched an investigation into the incident after being contacted by the Marshfield Police Department. Detectives developed probable cause and identified Keeley as a person of interest in the double homicide, the district attorney’s office said.
Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy Cruz earlier said the attack appeared to be targeted and that it was unclear when it unfolded.
Neighbors told NBC Boston that Keeley was friends with the couple’s son and that he had been living with them for several months.
CBS Boston reported that the victims’ daughter last saw her parents alive on Thanksgiving, and that Keeley allegedly told friends the next day that he got in a fight with the couple over a barking dog and they were most likely dead. The local outlet also reported that court documents state the Mattsons were found with evidence of a struggle, including an overturned bookcase, and that it was a friend of Keeley’s who requested the well-being check.
NBC News could not immediately verify those claims. The Plymouth District Court Clerk could not immediately be reached.
Documents provided by the Plymouth Clerk’s Office to NBC News on Friday stated that records in the case had been impounded.
A lawyer for Keeley’s family earlier told NBC Boston that the Massachusetts State Police “have been given the full cooperation of Mr. Keeley’s family.”
“The events that are alleged to have occurred are shocking and truly devastating to all involved. Our hearts go out to the entire Mattson family for their loss,” the lawyer’s statement said.
Keeley will have a court hearing to determine whether he will waive rendition before his return to Massachusetts to face charges, NBC Boston reported.
Chantal Da Silva contributed.