Reports possibly place Oregon murder suspect in area between Reno, San Francisco
NEWPORT, Ore. (AP) — Law enforcement officials appealed to the public Sunday for help finding a 27-year-old man accused of killing his wife and three children and dumping their bodies into two Pacific Ocean inlets.
“The murders of the three children and their mother is a horrible crime,” said Lincoln County District Attorney Bernice Barnett.
Barnett hinted that police are focusing their search in the San Francisco area, where Christian Longo was last seen on Dec. 26. “The FBI is helping down there to paper the area with his picture,” she said.
However, she said it’s not certain that Longo is still in the San Francisco area. Barnett said police have received so many tips in the case they had to increase the number of calls their tip line can handle.
Barnett also said Sunday that the arrest warrants for Longo charge him with seven counts of aggravated murder. She said officials decided to charge Longo with seven counts because more than one person was killed at the same time and three of the victims were children.
She declined to say how the Longos were killed or give any further details of the crime. Asked whether there is more than one suspect, Barnett only replied that a warrant has been issued only for Christian Longo.
The Oregonian newspaper on Saturday reported that on Dec. 21 a man who said he was Longo’s business partner stopped at the Newport condominium where Longo had been staying.
Sarah Johnson, a guest services representative at the condominium, said the business partner told her he was worried about Longo because he was diabetic.
Barnett said Sunday that she could not comment on that report.
Police divers on Thursday pulled the corpses of Longo’s wife, 35-year-old Mary Jane Longo, and his 2-year-old daughter, Madison, from a marina near a condominium Longo had rented in Newport.
A week earlier, the bodies of his other two children — Zachary, 5, and 3-year-old Sadie Ann — were found from a coastal inlet in Waldport, 14 miles south of Newport.
“The charges against him are extremely serious. I would urge anyone who does encounter him to call 911 and not approach him,” Barnett said.
The FBI has placed Longo on its wanted list because he is thought to have crossed state lines.
Longo, about six feet tall and blond, had a clean cut appearance and typically dressed in slacks, a dress shirt and leather jacket, according to neighbors in Newport.
Investigators think Longo might be driving a new Dodge Durango with either Oregon license plates or personalized Michigan plates that read “KIDVAN.”
Police in the Bay area have received reports of a green Dodge sports utility vehicle with Michigan plates. Police in Reno, Nev., were checking hotel rooms after receiving reports of a green van with “KIDVAN” license plates.
At first blush a successful young man, police say in fact Longo faced a multitude of legal and financial problems.
Longo, who owned a construction cleaning company in Michigan, has been named in six lawsuits seeking more than $30,000 and is wanted on two warrants in Michigan for probation violation and a charge of larceny by conversion.
The Longos also reportedly left $60,000 in debts in Michigan when they moved west.
Mary Jane Longo’s sister filed a missing persons report with the Toledo, Ohio, police on Sept. 22 and gave the family’s last address as being in south Toledo.
She withdrew the report after the family received a letter from Mary Jane Longo postmarked from a small town in North Dakota on Nov. 12, said Lt. Rick Reed of the Toledo police.
In the letter, Mary Jane said she was “traveling around the country” with her family, he said.
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