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When authorities closed in on Sean Lannon in St. Louis, the 47-year-old was sleeping in a car stolen from a friend who had been beaten to death a day earlier in New Jersey.
“It looks like he was catching some sleep in the car. Obviously, he’d been driving extensively,” said Tom Gilbert of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey. “… He decided to put some miles between us and himself.”
U.S. marshals arrested Lannon on Wednesday after he was named a “person of interest” in the deaths of his ex-wife, Jennifer Lannon, 39, as well as Matthew Miller, 21, Jesten Mata, 40, and Randal Apostalon, 60. The four were found in Apostalon’s truck – some of them dismembered – when security guards noticed a “foul odor” in a parking garage at the Albuquerque International Sunport on Friday.
Albuquerque homicide detectives were planning to travel to Missouri to interview Lannon.
Before he was arrested, Lannon called an acquaintance to say that “he is extremely sorry for all the things he has done” and that he “murdered his wife and her boyfriends in New Mexico,” as well as a friend found beaten to death in New Jersey, according to court records.
Authorities say Sean Lannon had flown out of the Sunport with his three children on Thursday evening and arrived in Philadelphia that night.
Gilbert said that due to “the nature of ongoing events” authorities were able to take the children from Sean Lannon but couldn’t arrest him as no charges had been filed at that point.
Days later, he said, Sean Lannon went on to commit a homicide in his home state of New Jersey.
On Wednesday, prosecutors in New Jersey filed numerous charges, including an open count of murder, burglary, possession of a weapon and motor vehicle theft, against Lannon in the beating death of Michael Dabkowski, 66, at his East Greenwich home.
Gilbert said Sean and Jennifer Lannon grew up in that part of New Jersey and knew Dabkowski, a churchgoer and “good community person,” who had “at times afforded a helping hand” to Sean Lannon.
“We don’t know exactly what led to the violent actions to kill the victim,” he said, adding that Lannon took Dabkowski’s car from the garage afterward and fled to Missouri.
Lt. David Chavez of the Grants Police Department said they are still looking for Daniel Lemos, 45, for questioning in the deaths of Miller, Mata and Jennifer Lannon.
He said the three were all from Grants and knew one another, but Grants police aren’t sure how Apostalon – who was known to live in his truck and give people rides for money – fits in.
Grants police had been looking for Miller, Mata and Jennifer Lannon since last month and, on Feb. 26, said Lemos – a relative of Miller’s who knew all three – was wanted for questioning.