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(Update: 4:30 p.m.): WRAL reports the arrest of Billy Jo McLean was made in Wildorado, Texas, after his stepson, Tobias, “sought a snack at a diner and found out he was the subject of a nationwide search.”

According to WRAL, Billy Jo told Tobias they were taking a road trip and forbade use of Facebook as they drove cross country. Tobias got his phone out to access the cafe’s offer of a free dessert when he learned of the murders of his mother and sister.

“He got very emotional. He started shaking,” said Dianna Donathan, owner of the Windy Cow. “Tears were coming down his cheeks, and he immediately said, ‘Call 911.'”

READ WRAL’s FULL REPORT


(Update: 9:45 a.m.): The FBI has officially confirmed McLean’s capture, and the Oldham County Sheriff’s Office has released his mugshot.


Billy Jo McLean, wanted in connection with the murder of his wife and daughter in Sanford, has been apprehended in Texas, sources have confirmed to the Rant. McLean’s stepson Tobias, whom family members had feared was in danger after McLean disappeared with him on Monday, is safe.

A member of the Sanford Police Department declined to confirm or deny the news. But a person who answered the phone at the Oldham County Sheriff’s Office in Vega, Texas on Friday morning confirmed that a Billy Jo McLean of Sanford was in custody.

The representative would not say what charges McLean was being held on or how he came to be in custody.

Unconfirmed reports indicate, however, that Tobias McLean was able to get to a diner in Oldham County, Texas when his father fell asleep Thursday night. From there, he called his grandmother.

McLean had been the subject of a manhunt since Monday, when his wife and stepdaughter were found dead in their apartment on Clark Circle in Sanford after a fire was reported there. Authorities reported that he may have been headed to the Washington, D.C. area.

Oldham County is in northern Texas and has a population of just above 2,000. By a direct route, it is roughly 1,500 miles from Sanford.

Billy Jo McLean

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