The man accused of beating an elderly Massachusetts couple to death in their home has been arrested in Florida, ending a days-long manhunt, authorities announced Saturday.
Miami police arrested 27-year-old Christopher Keeley around 8:20 p.m. Friday night in Miami Beach, according to a statement released by the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office. NBC Boston reported that the arrest came shortly after Keeley allegedly assaulted a man with a hammer, and that the suspect dyed his hair red in an attempt to evade authorities.
Keeley was wanted connection to the murders of Carl and Vicki Mattson, who were both 70 and found bludgeoned and stabbed to death at their home in Marshfield, a suburb about 30 miles southeast of Boston. Police found the bodies Tuesday night, when they arrived to conduct a welfare check, the district attorney’s office said in a press release Wednesday. According to the prosecutor’s office, the police also found a dead dog in the house.
The Massachusetts Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is investigating the cause and manner of death of the victims.
Miami-Dade County jail records show that Keeley was arrested on a warrant as an out-of-state fugitive. It was not immediately clear whether Keeley has engaged a lawyer.
Representatives from the Miami-Dade Police Department and Massachusetts State Police did not immediately respond to questions. A representative from the Plymouth County District Attorney’s Office could not be reached immediately.
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 previously said the attack appeared to be targeted and it was unclear when it unfolded.
Neighbors told NBC Boston that Keeley was friends with the couple’s son and had been living with them for several months.
CBS Boston reported that that the victim’s daughter last saw her parents alive on Thanksgiving, and that Keeley reportedly told friends the next day that he got into a fight with the couple over a barking dog and that they were most likely dead. Also the local outlet reported that court documents state that 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 welfare check.
NBC News was not immediately able to verify those claims. The clerk of the Plymouth District Court was not immediately available.
Documents provided to NBC News by the Plymouth Clerk’s Office on Friday stated that files in the case had been seized.
An attorney for Keeley’s family previously told NBC Boston that the Massachusetts State Police “have received the full cooperation of Mr. Keeley’s family.”
“The events that are believed to have taken place are shocking and truly devastating for all involved. Our thoughts go out to the entire Mattson family for their loss,” the attorney’s statement said.
Keeley will have a hearing to determine whether to waive extradition before returning to Massachusetts to face charges, NBC Boston reported.
Chantal da Silva contributed.