Ex-Fire Chief Suspected of Killing Girlfriend Is Arrested

The former California fire battalion chief suspected of killing his girlfriend earlier this month and leading the authorities on a two-week statewide manhunt was arrested Friday.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department said that Orville Fleming, 55, "claimed responsibility" for the stabbing that killed his girlfriend, 26-year-old Sarah Douglas, on May 1.

Fleming was charged with murder, said the spokeswoman, Sgt. Lisa Bowman, and is being held at Sacramento County Main Jail.

A manhunt that reached as far as Southern California to the south and Oregon to the north began after Douglas's body was discovered at the couple's home in Sacramento.

Image: Orville Fleming
Orville Fleming Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

Authorities worried that Fleming, an avid outdoorsman who had access to Cal-Fire facilities around the state, had disappeared into the region's vast wilderness. He was believed to be armed.

Instead, Fleming was captured unarmed and without incident in a southern section of Sacramento County after a detective saw him leaving a public bus.

He had shaved, and had been camping out in dense vegetation.

Fleming "was basically hidden in plain sight," homicide detective Brian Meux said. "He was a lone survivor for those 16 days."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.