OLDHAM COUNTY, Texas (WNCN) – A Sanford man accused of murdering his wife and stepdaughter in an apartment fire was apprehended by authorities in a Texas motel, the FBI said Friday.
Billy Jo Mclean was found at the Royal Inn located at in Wildorado, Texas, shortly after midnight Friday.
The FBI said 17-year-old Tobias Mclean, who had been missing since his mother, Calandra Mclean, and 13-year-old sister, Tashonna Cameron, were murdered, was also found and was safe. Tobias was not with his stepfather when the arrest was made.
Around 1:30 p.m. Monday, Sanford firefighters responded to an apartment complex in response to a strong gas odor.
When firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from an apartment nearby and found Mclean and Cameron inside the apartment at 916 Clark Circle.
Mclean’s husband, Billy Jo Mclean, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder in connection with the case.
Since the fire, authorities had been searching for Mclean and his 17-year-old stepson Tobias.
Around 9:45 p.m. Thursday, the Sanford Police Department received information about Tobias Mclean’s whereabouts and his stepfather. Sanford Police coordinated with the Oldham County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies to locate Tobias and Billy Jo Mclean.
Tobias Mclean was found shortly after 10:15 p.m. Thursday in Oldham County unharmed and not with his stepfather.
Billy Joe Mclean fell asleep and Tobias snuck out to get a snack. He went to the café across the highway and learned about what was happening back home and asked to call 911. Authorities then came and got him, then went and arrested Billy Jo.
WNCN spoke with a long-time family friend of the Mcleans who said he was thankful Billy Jo Mclean was captured.
“I’m glad they caught him,very glad. I was concerned. People do things; people do snap. We don’t know the reasons, we weren’t there. I’m just grateful to God that he’s OK that Tobias was OK. I’m very appreciative,” said Timothy Beasley, a family friend.
Mclean was taken into custody without incident. He is being held in Oldham County and is awaiting extradition back to North Carolina.
Sanford Police detectives were traveling to Texas on Friday to follow up on the investigation and the arrest of Mclean.