- Daron Wint was a former employee at the American Iron Works
- Was owned by Savvas Savopoulos, the father he is accused of killing
- The 34-year-old has been charged with quadruple murder after Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their son Philip and housekeeper were found dead
- Was hiding out with his girlfriend in New York after the incident
- She told police he fled when his mugshot started circulating
Lydia Warren For Dailymail.com
13:01 EST, 23 May 2015
21:15 EST, 23 May 2015
The ex-convict accused of murdering a CEO, his family and their housekeeper in Washington D.C. tortured the father until he called his assistant to hand-deliver $40,000 ransom to the home, it has been claimed.
According to the affidavit, Daron Wint held Savvas Savopoulos, his wife Amy, their 10-year-old son Philip, and maid Veralicia Figueroa for 19 hours before killing them and setting the place alight.
Wint was an employee at Mr Savopoulos’ company American Iron Works.
He tied up each hostage at 6pm, ordered two Domino’s pizzas at 9.15pm, and at 9am the next day forced Mr Savopoulos to call his assistant, according to the affidavit.
The assistant was told to meet two other employees, who were to extract $40,000 cash from a Bank of America account.
The first employee went inside the branch, received four bundles of cash from a bank manager, and put them in their pockets. Outside, a second employee received the four bundles and placed them in a red striped bag. This employee then drove to Mr Savopoulos’ home on Embassy Row to meet the assistant, who placed the four bundles in a manila envelope and put it inside an unlocked red car in the garage.
Hours later, the multimillion-dollar mansion was ablaze and all four captives were dead.
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Daron Wint, 34, forced Savvas Savopoulos to withdraw $40,000 from his account and have it delivered to the house, according to an affidavit. The documents reveal three employees rushed to deliver the money
Murdered: Savvas Savopoulos, 46, and his 47-year-old wife Amy were found dead after their Washington DC home was set abaze. Their 10-year-old son and housekeeper were also found murdered inside
Slain: Philip Savopoulos, ten, left, was also found dead with housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa, 57, right
The police investigation is now centered on the $40,000, which had been extracted from a Bank of America account by other America Iron Works employees.
Wint, 34, is accused of stabbing to death Mr and Mrs Savopoulos and Ms Figueroa, and leaving Philip to die in the fire.
He was arrested on Thursday night after reportedly paying a New York taxi driver $1,000 to drive him back to the capitol from Brooklyn, where he was staying with his girlfriend.
According to DNA New York, Wint’s girlfriend, who name was not released, called police on Thursday to say he had been staying with her since the attack.
She claimed she knew nothing about the crime or that he was on the run until his name and picture began to circulate the media on Thursday morning. At that point, she said, he left to seek help from his brothers, who are based in D.C.
When she was questioned by detectives from both New York and Washington, she said she believed he would turn himself in.
He became the prime suspect after investigators found his DNA on pieces of pizza left behind at the crime scene.
Domino’s told police their delivery worker arrived at the property at 9.15pm with two pizzas – a whole cheese and a pepperoni.
The worker was instructed to leave the pizzas on the porch, ring the doorbell and leave.
The next day, after fire fighters were called to the burning home, detectives found the whole cheese pizza untouched, and about three quarters of the pepperoni pizza left half-eaten in the box.
It was by running tests on this pizza that detectives found Wint’s DNA and named him as the prime suspect.
He appeared in court on Friday afternoon and is being held without bond.
Court documents released today have shed light on how Daron Wint allegedly killed the Savopoulos family in Northeast DC – and indicate he did not act alone.
Magistrate Errol Arthur said he could not think of a ‘single condition’ under which it would be safe to release the suspect, who appeared in court wearing a white prison issue jumpsuit.
He is charged in the murders of, whose bodies were found on May 14 after firefighters responded to a blaze at their mansion. If found guilty, he will not face the death penalty as Washington D.C does not have it.
A newly-released court affidavit says that Wint, who is also named in court documents as ‘Darron Delon Dennis Wint’, and ‘others’ first entered the home around 6pm on May 13 and held the family hostage overnight. The documents do not name the other accomplices.
The family was kept alive until one of Savopoulos’ employees delivered a package filled with cash to the home the next morning and left it in the garage as instructed, the documents show.
‘All four decedents were held captive by Mr Wint and others until the $40,000 was delivered to the Savopoulos residence,’ the document says. ‘After the money was delivered the four decedents were killed.’
The killer murdered Mr Savopoulos by ‘striking and stabbing him with an unknown object’, the documents show.
Arrested: Daron Wint, pictured in previous mug shots, has been arrested a week after the murders
Wint was a former employee at the American Iron Works (office address pictured), a business owned by Savvas Savopoulos
Investigation: On Thursday, police vehicles are seen outside the $4.5 million fire-damaged home where the family and their housekeeper were found killed a week ago in Washington, DC
The coroner determined that three of the victims – Mr and Mrs Savopoulos and Mrs Figueroa – died from ‘blunt force and sharp force trauma’, while Philip suffered from ‘thermal and sharp force injuries’, suggesting he was burned and stabbed to death.
Their bodies were found inside the home after it was set alight around 1pm on Thursday May 14. Firefighters found all four bodies on the second floor of the $4.5 million home.
Philip’s body was found on a bed in a bedroom where authorities believe the fire was started.
The three adults were found together in another room, the documents show. Figueroa, herself a married mother, was transported to hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.
Authorities immediately knew they were stepping into a crime scene.
‘A strong odor consistent with that of gasoline was present throughout the home,’ the affidavit says. ‘Several matches and a matchbox were found at the top of the stairs.’
A K-9 unit also found the presence of an accelerant on the stairs and in the room where the adults’ bodies were found.
Also in the bedroom, the investigators found two pizza boxes which had been delivered the night before. The pizzas had been bought on the Savopouloses’ credit card.
The deliveryman told authorities that the order instructions said the home owner was nursing a sick child inside so would be unable to come to the door. She asked for him to leave the pizzas outside, ring the doorbell and then leave.
When the deliveryman arrived, every light in the house was off, except for the one on the porch, he told authorities.
‘At the time the pizzas were ordered, each of the decedents were being held against their will,’ the affidavit reads.
Destruction: The four bodies were found on the burned-out second floor of the home, which smelled like gasoline, according to court documents. Pictured, investigators inspect the home on Wednesday
One of the pizzas was entirely untouched whereas the other box had a few remaining pieces of pepperoni pizza and some half-eaten crusts. DNA on the crusts matched up with Wint’s DNA, which was already in the national database.
After launching a massive manhunt that led authorities to Brooklyn, they finally caught up with Wint back in Northeast DC on Thursday night as he left a hotel in a car.
He was arrested with five others who were traveling in the car with him or in a box truck driving nearby. The truck was carrying $10,000 in cash.
Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force saw a stack of $100 bills in plain view.
‘The denomination of this money is consistent with the denomination of money that was delivered to the decedent’s resident prior to the homicide,’ court documents said.
Fox5 reported that the other people arrested with him have not yet been charged.
The Savopouloses also had two teenage daughters who were both away at boarding school at the time of the killings. Chief Cathy Lanier told CNN on Friday that they were ‘heartbroken and terrified’.
On Thursday’s brief court hearing, Wint’s public defender, Joan Lawson, said that the case against him was built on ‘speculation and guesswork’ and that he was an ‘innocent person’.
Person of interest: Last weekend investigators released surveillance footage of a ‘person of interest’ in the case. They have since said that the person in the video is not believed to be Wint
She said that the pizza found at the house bearing Wint’s DNA was ordered on May 13 and the criminality took place the next day.
Miss Lawson said: ‘There is nothing linking him to the kidnapping and death of the decedents.’
But the prosecutor told the court: ‘Simply put, the defendant’s DNA is on the pizza that was located in a room with three adults just before a fire started…to the extent that other people may have been involved, it does not undermine the defendant’s involvement.’
Magistrate Arthur agreed and also granted the prosecution’s request to conduct analysis of fingerprints found on a bottle inside the house.
At a press conference on Thursday, Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier said that Wint had worked at one time for Savvas Savopoulos’ company, American Iron Works, Inc.
‘We do believe there is a connection with the suspect in the case through the business,’ she said. ‘This was not random.’
A former neighbor at the Lanham, Maryland apartment block where Wint rented a one-bedroom apartment until a year ago told Daily Mail Online that the suspect earned his living as a welder.
Fox reported that Wint worked for the company around 10 years ago as a laborer.
This is the moment Wint was arrested on Thursday night after police tailed his car for five miles
Huge operation: Wint was found traveling in this white vehicle in Northeast DC on Thursday night. He was arrested with five other people with him, including his brother, and is now being held without bail
Court documents reveal that Wint, who was born in Guyana, moved to the U.S. in 2000 at the age of 20 and settled in Maryland where his family were.
Records show that in September 2001 Wint joined the Marine Corps Recruit Training or ‘boot camp’ – officially known as ‘entry level separation’.
But while he started intensive basic training at Parris Island, South Carolina on July 24, 2001, he was dropped on September 28 – four weeks before the 13 week program ended.
By 2005 Wint had experienced his first of 39 brushes with the law; most are traffic offences, but the sheer volume shows a long standing disregard for the rules. Other arrests include for assault, malicious destruction of property, and a protective order has been carried out against him.
Still, Maryland defense attorney Robin Ficker, who represented Wint in previous cases around a decade ago, said he does not believe Wint could be behind the murders.
‘He’s not a match for this type of activity at all,’ Ficker told the Washington Post. ‘He’s the last one I would suspect with anything like this.’
TIMELINE OF THE WASHINGTON D.C. MANSION MURDERS
3pm: Housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa is supposed to leave for the day, according to a second housekeeper, Nelitza Gutierrez.
5.30pm: Amy Savopoulos calls her husband, telling him to come home to watch their 10-year-old son because she has plans, Gutierrez says.
6pm: The approximate time the suspect or suspects entered the home and began holding the family hostage.
9pm: A Domino’s pizza deliveryman takes two pizzas to the home. Money has been left outside for him so he takes it and leaves the pizzas.
9.30pm: Savvas Savopoulos calls Gutierrez’ phone and leaves her a flustered-sounding voicemail. She doesn’t notice it until the next morning. Though Savopoulos had indicated earlier that his wife was going out, in the voicemail he said she is sick in bed and another housekeeper, Veralicia Figueroa, is staying overnight. He also says in the voicemail that Figueroa’s cellphone is dead and the family doesn’t have a charger for it, which Gutierrez says is odd.
Morning: At some point, Figueroa’s husband, Bernardo Alfaro, goes to the house and knocks on the door, but no one answers. While there, Alfaro told WJLA-TV that Savvas Savopoulos called his cellphone and told him that Amy had gone to the hospital and Figueroa had accompanied her.
‘My feeling was that somebody was inside,’ Alfaro said. He continued trying to call his wife and got no answer.
Also that morning, Savopoulos makes a flurry of phone calls, including to his bank. His assistant drops of $40,000 at the home, leaving it in the garage as instructed.
9.30am: Gutierrez receives a text message from Amy Savopoulos’ cellphone saying ‘I am making sure you do not come today.’ Gutierrez says she calls Amy Savopoulos immediately, but the call goes to voicemail. She texts her and doesn’t get a response.
10.30am: The family’s 2008 blue Porsche 911 is last seen at the home, D.C. police Chief Cathy Lanier said. Later in the day, it is found torched in a parking lot in New Carrollton, Maryland, about 13 miles from the Savopoulos house.
1.30pm: D.C. Fire and EMS responds to a call for a fire on Woodland Drive and find the bodies inside the home. They immediately suspect someone may have intentionally set the house on fire.
Police announce a suspect in the slayings: Daron Dylon Wint. He is identified after his DNA was found on a pizza crust at the scene.
Police say Wint may be in Brooklyn, New York.
He and five others are found and stopped by law enforcement just before 11.30pm on Route 1 in Northeast DC. He is taken in to custody.
Wint appears in court where he is ordered to be held without bail.
By Associated Press and DailyMail.com
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