Search for fugitive Cal Fire battalion chief widens

SACRAMENT0 - The lead investigator in the search for murder suspect Orville "Moe" Fleming, a former Cal Fire battalion chief suspected of killing his fiance, said he's confident he'll eventually get his man.

"Resources eventually run out, both physical and emotional as well as financial," Sacramento County Sheriff's Det. Brian Meux said.

Fleming, 55, is accused of stabbing and killing his fiance 26-year-old Sarah Douglas. Douglas was found dead in the home she shared with Fleming in 9300 block of Fox River Way on May 1. Fleming fled the Sacramento area and could be anywhere in California, according to investigators.

"If he's not caught today, he'll be found someday in the future and we'll have our resolution then," Meux said.

Meux said his team has run down possible sightings as far away as Oregon. Investigators spent hours questioning family, friends and even some female escorts Fleming knew. They believe the escorts may be among those who are helping Fleming.

"As a homicide investigator, my job is to investigate cases where somebody's life has ended in a criminal manner and it doesn't matter who they are, what their lifestyle is," Meux said.

Investigators said Fleming may have shaved his head and mustache and might have disappeared into forested areas he knew well from years of fighting fires. Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said its crews are on the lookout for Fleming, and investigators said Cal Fire has cooperated fully with their work.

"They have opened up their facilities to us, they've given us access to their personnel, they've given us access to their records," Meux said.

Meux said allegations by Fleming's ex-wife that she'd seen a sex tape with her husband and other firefighters, possibly at a Cal Fire facility, and Fleming frequented escorts through an internet service were supplementary to the investigation.

"The information about the Redbook and the escort sites and things is more incidental to that," Meux explained. "It's just more personal history for us."

Berlant said they are taking the accusations seriously, but waiting to learn what the sheriff's investigation turns up.

"Now, if in the sheriff's investigation any evidence does come up that does show employees in any type of behavior that we do not condone, we will absolutely take action," Berlant said.

While Meux said he was confident that Fleming would be brought to justice, he made clear it might not be soon.

"There's certainly the potential that it could go on indefinitely," he said.


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