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Homicide Suspects Could Be Arraigned This Week

Neighbors of victim Nancy Dailey talk about encounters with the homeless couple now in custody as officials sift through evidence and put together charges.

An arraignment for the two parole absconders being held in the is not likely to occur until later this week, Royal Oak police said Monday.

Tonia Michelle Watson, 40, and Alan Craig Wood, 48, are being held on parole violations as police continue their investigation into the murder of Nancy Dailey, who was found dead in her home with her hands bound behind her back and her throat cut. There was also evidence of a robbery, police said.

Watson and Wood by Royal Oak Police at a Meijer store in Canton, in conjunction with the Oakland County Fugitive Apprehension Team and U.S. Marshals.

“We’re not pressed on time because they’re being held on other charges,” Royal Oak Police Lt. Thomas Goad said Monday.

Pair have lengthy criminal past

Watson and Wood have lengthy criminal records, including convictions for home invasion and gun crimes, Michigan Department of Corrections records show. Both have failed to report to their parole officers in Pontiac.  

Records show Wood's last conviction was for home invasion in 2005 in Oakland County. He had also been convicted of arson conspiracy in 1990 and attempted breaking and entering in 1991, both in Macomb County.

State Department of Corrections records show Watson has gone by many aliases, including Carol Woods, Kell Reynolds, Mitzi Choy, Stacey Nolen and Tonia Sladawski. Her convictions go back to 1997, and include multiple weapons felonies and possession of stolen property valued at more than $1,000 but less than $20,000, all in Oakland County. In Wayne County, she was convicted of escape from a felony jail term.

Police gather evidence

Last week, and other equipment along the Woodward Avenue median directly across from the south of 12 Mile Road. Goad would not say what was found but that police have identified several pieces of evidence.

“We have a lot of evidence that we found related to the crime,” he said.

Police said the two suspects had been known to stay at several motels within the city of Royal Oak in the weeks prior to the murder.

Other residents encountered couple

As the investigation continues, local residents have come forward with information about recent encounters with the same couple that is now in custody.

“We’ve received several tips regarding individuals who had had contact with them for various jobs they had asked to do around people’s homes,” Goad said.

There is also discussion on the Facebook page for Dailey’s Woodwardside Subdivision neighborhood where several residents say they also encountered the couple, who offered to do yard work for them.

Royal Oak resident Mike McCulloch told Royal Oak Patch last week that he gave the couple a ride to a nearby motel in late October after he found them in the alley next to his house throwing suitcases over the fence from his yard. The couple told him they were keeping their belongings safe in McCulloch's backyard.

“They told me their house burned down in Pontiac and that they were homeless,” McCulloch said. “They said they found a church to pay for a room for them at another motel.”

McCulloch drove them to a motel with Wood in the passenger seat and Watson fussing over McCulloch’s Italian Greyhound dog in the backseat.

McCulloch said Wood told him he grew up in Royal Oak and attended Dondero High School, and asked for help finding a job. They also discussed restaurants around the Royal Motor Inn where the couple could get a meal.

“I gave Al $20 and told him to take his lady friend out to dinner,” McCulloch said. “He gave me a hug and that was the last I saw of them [until the the day Dailey was murdered].”

Resident never felt threatened

McCulloch said he never felt threatened by the couple and that they smelled of cigarettes but not alcohol. He said they did not appear to be under the influence of drugs.

But, he said, “These days how can you really tell if someone is on drugs?”

He didn’t see them again until Nov. 20, the day of Dailey’s murder, while he was taking his dog for a walk.

“On Sunday at 12:30, I was walking my dog on Woodward and I saw Al and Tonia near the BP gas station on Woodward at 12 Mile. They were headed north,” he said.

McCulloch said the woman told Wood, “There’s that dog!”

“At first he seemed to just ignore her and he kept walking, but finally he noticed me and he said ‘Hi Mike!’” McCulloch said, and they exchanged greetings.

The day after Dailey's body was found, McCulloch saw “dozens of cops” at the Seville Motel.

“I put two and two together and I knew it had to be related to the murder,” said McCulloch, who made a statement to police last week.

“I have been a lawyer for 27 years and I have never seen that amount of manpower and thoroughness in one location.”

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