Police renew search of Sacramento area seeking slaying leads
SACRAMENTO (AP) – Dozens of deputies fanned out across a Sacramento County neighborhood Monday afternoon, as a nationwide search continued for a Ukrainian immigrant sought in the slayings of six family members.
With few solid leads in a week, police planned to ”go back to ground zero” in their manhunt for Nikolay Soltys, said Sacramento County Sheriff’s Sgt. James Lewis.
Deputies set up a command center in a parking lot near where Soltys was last seen a week ago, and began going door-to-door through the nearby Ukrainian immigrant community. A similar canvass was conducted last week as deputies distributed wanted posters in English and Russian featuring Soltys.
The community is near where Soltys hid his 1995 Nissan Altima behind a home improvement store, trading it for a mid-90s green Ford Explorer with a mismatched rear hatch.
Soltys left behind notes in the abandoned car leading police to the body of his 3-year-old son and offering a rationale for the killings of his pregnant wife, aunt, uncle and two young cousins. All were slain, he suggested, because they or other relatives spoke outside the family about unspecified topics Soltys considered private.
Aside from a possible sighting a day later, he’s not been seen since.
Deputies are pursuing more than 700 tips, including about 130 to the ”America’s Most Wanted” television program that aired a segment on Soltys Saturday night. Another 200 tips were phoned in directly to sheriff’s tip lines in the 12 hours after the program.
A $70,000 reward has been posted for Soltys’ arrest, and he has been named to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.
Yet police are unsure if he remains closeted in the area, or has fled, possibly to Russian-Ukrainian communities in San Francisco and Oregon, or to Seattle, Charlotte, N.C., and Binghamton, N.Y., where Soltys once lived or had family ties.
Security was increased Monday for opening day at White Rock Elementary School in the Sacramento suburb of Rancho Cordova, attended by the two slain 9-year-old cousins as well as three of their surviving siblings.
Parents there were invited to meet with the school’s psychiatrist and police chaplains for advice on how to help their children cope with the loss of their schoolmates.
More than a dozen Soltys relatives remained under police protection. Security also was heavy during Sunday’s six-hour funeral and burial ceremonies for the six victims for fear Soltys might resurface. A man resembling Soltys was questioned by deputies at the funeral, but the ceremonies concluded without incident.
On the Net: http://www.sacsheriff.com
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