UPDATE: Police Comb Woodward Median Late Wednesday
The man and woman who were arrested in the slaying of an 80-year-old Royal Oak woman were known to have stayed at nearby motels.
Update, 10:50 p.m. Wednesday: Royal Oak police were using metal detectors to comb the Woodward Avenue median directly in front of the Seville Motel late Wednesday evening. The Royal Oak Fire Department and Department of Public Service were assisting as police dug up the median in a grid pattern inside yellow tape.
Nancy Dailey, an 80-year-old Royal Oak woman, was found dead in her home Sunday with her throat slashed. The weapon used in her killing had not been accounted for, according to information provided by police.
"The couple (taken into custody Tuesday) had been known to stay at several motels within the city of Royal Oak in the past couple of weeks," Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goad said earlier in the day. Police could be seen searching and removing evidence at the Seville and Saranay motels Tuesday, following up on dozens of tips, according to Goad.
9 a.m. Wednesday: The suspects in the slaying of Royal Oak resident Nancy Dailey are not expected to be arraigned today, Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goadsaid this morning. They were being held in the Royal Oak jail.
"This was a heinous, horrible crime and we know residents were scared and nervous and that's why it was very important to us to work around the clock on this case," Goad told Royal Oak Patch. "We want to restore residents' confidence and alleviate fear."
4:30 a.m. Wednesday:
The two people arrested Tuesday in connection with the Sunday homicide of an 80-year-old Royal Oak woman are not related to the woman, Royal Oak Police Chief Corrigan O'Donohue said.
The man and woman were in custody in Royal Oak late Tuesday, but there was no word yet of charges or an arraignment. However, police said they did not expect to make any more arrests in the brutal slaying of Nancy Dailey.
The arrests, made less than 48 hours after Dailey was found in her home off Woodward near 13 Mile Road, drew praise from the woman's relieved neighbors.
“I applaud the efforts of the police and other agencies involved in handling this swiftly,” said Tim Stedman, a former president of the Woodwardside neighborhood association, of which Dailey was an active member. “Being a personal friend of Nancy, it means a lot to me.”
Stedman and Dailey were neighbors for more than 20 years.
A relative found Dailey dead in her home in the 2900 block of Trafford just after 8 p.m. Sunday, police said. Her hands were bound behind her back and her throat cut.
The two arrested suspects were "parole absconders," Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goad said in a news release, which means they have failed to report for parole as required as a condition of their release from prison.
Royal Oak Police, in conjunction with the Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team and U.S. Marshals, made the arrests in Canton Township about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Royal Oak Police said.
Throughout the day Tuesday, investigators were searching and removing evidence at the Seville and Saranay motels on Woodward near Dailey’s home. "The couple had been known to stay at several motels within the city of Royal Oak in the past couple of weeks," Goad said.
Detectives were able to determine the identities of the suspects after they used an ATM card belonging to Dailey and police used cell phone tracking technology to find the suspects, WXYZ-TV reported Tuesday night. Goad would not confirm that information Wednesday.
Royal Oak resident Mike McCulloch told police Tuesday that he saw and said hello to the man and woman on Sunday. He said they were walking headed north on Woodward in the direction of Dailey’s home, WDIV reported.
It was the second homicide in Royal Oak this fall. On Sept. 19, 41-year-old Ranae Chupick was found dead in her apartment on Rochester Road – beaten, stabbed and her throat slashed. Her on-and-off boyfriend, Chris Hearn, has been charged with open murder in the case and is scheduled to be in court next week.
Before that, Royal Oak recorded just one homicide in each of the years 2000, 2004, 2005 and 2010, according to city-data.com.
Stedman said Dailey was not the type of person who would “buy in” to strangers, but acknowledged she might have been confused.
“Maybe these people were smooth talkers and they caught her off guard,” he said.
City Commissioner Patricia Capello, a longtime Woodwardside resident, said she dropped off Meals on Wheels to Dailey and considered her a friend. "Nancy was a wonderful, wonderful person,” Capello said.
“I am very impressed by the speed and determination of the Royal Oak Police. They have my everlasting gratitude in setting everybody’s mind at rest in solving this case."