LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. (AP) — A white supremacist accused of fatally stabbing an Oregon man and slashing the face of another man at a Utah bus station was arrested Saturday, authorities said.
Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said a tip led investigators to Corvallis, Ore., where they spotted Erik John Meiser, 37, walking down a street. Sheriff’s deputies and the U.S. Marshals Service arrested him at gunpoint and without incident at a Super 8 motel.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Meiser was staying at the hotel, and investigators hoped to figure out whether anyone helped him evade police.
The capture ends a nearly weeklong manhunt that spanned the West Coast. Police identified Meiser as the suspect in the Sept. 17 stabbing death of Fredrick “Fritz” Hayes at his home just outside the Portland suburb of Lake Oswego.
Authorities in Ogden, Utah, also have an arrest warrant for Meiser that accuses him of aggravated assault Sept. 8. Ogden police said the victim was “severely slashed” on his face with a razor-style knife and needed treatment at a hospital.
Meiser was booked into the Clackamas County jail on charges of aggravated murder, murder and burglary, the sheriff’s office said. He was expected to go before a judge next week but would remain held without bail at the jail, where he will be placed on suicide watch, which is standard procedure for people charged with a serious felony, said Sgt. Adam Phillips, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
Hayes’ killing in an affluent suburb terrified neighbors, and much of metro Portland was on heightened alert for the 6-foot-5 bearded man that police called armed and dangerous. Electronic billboards kept his face in front of motorists in Portland and Salem.
Meiser has an arrest record in eight states that stretches back more than 20 years, though none of the crimes were in Oregon or Utah. They included assault, battery, burglary, disorderly conduct, drug possession, ethnic intimidation, making obscene phone calls, trespass, theft and vandalism.
Meiser has white supremacist tattoos, including one on his knuckles that spells out “Neo Nazi.”
Hayes died in front of his wife, Margaret, during a confrontation with a burglar at their home. Margaret Hayes was not injured.
Investigators have found no link between Meiser and the couple. Fritz Hayes was a recently retired information technology professional who officiated for high school lacrosse games.
With Meiser in custody, Hayes wouldn’t be forgotten, Phillips said.
“It’s the suspect that did the murder, but this is really about justice for Mr. Hayes,” Phillips said.