Image: William McQuain
NBC Washington
William McQuain's mother was found dead on Wednesday.
NBC News and msnbc.com
updated 10/13/2011 7:58:54 PM ET 2011-10-13T23:58:54

The husband of a slain woman was in custody Thursday but police said they still have not been able to find her missing 11-year-old son, who they believe was abducted.

Curtis Lopez, 45, was taken in to custody about 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., on an arrest warrant related to the death of Jane McQuain. The 51-year-old mother was found Wednesday night with trauma to her body in the bedroom of her condominium in Germantown, about 30 miles northwest of Washington.

Their son, William McQuain, was last seen at the home Sept. 30, authorities said.

Maryland State Police have issued an Amber Alert for the boy.

"My hope is that he may be with a family member or a friend that perhaps has no idea what's occurred with his mother, but as time goes on, it becomes more and more of a longshot that that's the case, but we're still hoping we can find William," Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger told NBC Washington.

Police discovered McQuain after a friend told them he had been unable to contact her and was worried about her. Her death was considered a homicide, police said, but they declined to elaborate.

“There is a possibility that she has been in the bedroom for two weeks," Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks told msnbc.com, adding, "The medical examiner will help with that information.”

In earlier developments, authorities recovered McQuain's vehicle, a black Honda CRV, about 8:30 a.m. Thursday in the Charlotte, N.C., area, NBC Washington reported.

“I expect the investigation to move quickest today (now that the car has been found),” Starks told msnbc.com.

Starks said detectives were trying to interview people close to McQuain.

Lopez was arrested about 9:30 a.m. at the Econo Lodge on first-degree murder warrant.

Lopez was known to frequent McQuain's residence but did not appear to live there, Manger told NBC Washington. Witnesses recently saw him there loading property from the residence into the victim's vehicle.

Search on for sixth-grader
The Amber Alert described William as five feet tall, 85 pounds, biracial with brown hair and brown eyes.

The boy is a sixth-grader at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.

Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Montgomery County public school system, said he could not discuss the specifics of McQuain's case, but typically the school sends a recorded phone call to a student's guardian after an unexplained absence. After more than four consecutive absent days, the guidance office then assumes responsibility for trying to track down a parent or guardian.

Officials at the middle school declined to comment.

Students found out about McQuain's disappearance Thursday. A letter would also go home to parents, Tofig said.

Josh McDonald, 23, who lives in a complex across the street from McQuain, said he often saw William playing outside with friends but did not know his mother. A photograph distributed by police shows a smiling William in a recreational baseball uniform.

McDonald said violent crime in the neighborhood was very rare.

Maryland State Police ask that anyone with information about William’s whereabouts call 911 or 240-773-5070. Callers have the option to remain anonymous.

Msnbc.com staff and NBC Washington contributed to this report, as did The Associated Press.

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