SHINGLETOWN, Calif. (AP) — Authorities across Northern California on Wednesday night were searching for a man, believed to be heavily armed, suspected of fatally shooting his wife and two young daughters at their home.
Shane Franklin Miller, 45, remained on the loose, a day after the killings in Shingletown, Shasta County sheriff’s officials said.
“There is a manhunt for him right now,” Lt. Dave Kent said. “He’s a prime suspect. We’re not looking for anybody else.”
Kent said deputies received a call from Miller’s residence around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday. When they arrived, they found the bodies of Miller’s wife, Sandy, 34, and two daughters, Shelby, 8, and Shasta, 4.
All three had been shot multiple times, Kent said.
Kent said investigators had not determined who placed the call, but he said it was from one of the victims as the shooting was in progress.
Authorities have not recovered the gun, or guns, believed to have been used in the shooting, but Kent said more weapons were found in the house.
“We found several different types of weapons, ammunition in the house, so he may be heavily fortified at this time,” Kent told The Associated Press.
Investigators have released a photo of Miller and said he is believed be driving a gold-colored 2010 Dodge Mega Cab pickup with a camper shell. He is considered extremely dangerous.
Miller may be heading to a cabin in coastal Humboldt County, where authorities have said several weapons may be stored.
Initially, authorities believed the cabin was in Ferndale, about 180 miles west of Shingletown, a drive of nearly four hours over rural highways.
But Kent said Wednesday evening he could not confirm the location, and Ferndale Police Chief Bret Smith said there was a residence in nearby Petrolia, not Ferndale, where Miller has stayed in the past.
Lt. Steve Knight, a Humboldt County sheriff’s spokesman, said authorities there were working with Shasta County sheriff’s officials, but he declined to provide any details about the search.
The two-story house where the shooting took place is nestled among pine trees, with a detached garage and shed in the back. The Redding Searchlight reported that horses and llamas graze on the property.
Investigators had not determined a motive for the shooting, but Kent noted deputies had gone to the home last month on a domestic dispute call.
Schools in the rural community of about 2,000 people about 230 miles northeast of San Francisco were locked down during the day Wednesday, and a forest harvest demonstration for local schools set for Wednesday and Thursday was rescheduled for next week.
Miller’s two daughters both attended school in the Black Butte Union Elementary School District, district superintendent Don Aust, told The Record Searchlight.
The girls’ parents pulled Shelby out of the elementary school and Shasta out of the preschool programs around three to four weeks ago, Aust said.