PLATTSBURGH — Triple-homicide suspect Justin Bresaw did cross the border into the North Country but moved on, police said on Friday evening.
“We have confirmed from surveillance video that he was here,” State Police Troop B Bureau of Criminal Investigation Capt. Robert LaFountain said. “(But) he is no longer in the area.”
The subject of a Canada-wide manhunt, Bresaw, 35, is wanted in connection with the deaths of three people in a raging house fire Monday in Amos, Quebec, about 310 miles northwest of Montreal.
He had rented a basement room in the home.
Earlier Friday, police released a statement saying there had been possible sightings of the Quebec man in Mooers and Plattsburgh on Wednesday.
That was information that had developed over the course of Thursday, LaFountain said, and by Friday morning had solidified into a strong possibility.
“The Border Patrol had been working on (the case) as well,” he said, “and came up with a very good lead that panned out.”
By Friday afternoon, authorities were asking the public to call with any tips on Bresaw’s location.
LaFountain said he couldn’t go into detail about how they were sure he had left the area, as the homicide investigation remained open under the purview of the Quebec authorities.
Nor could he specify Bresaw’s mode of travel or what direction he was headed.
STOLEN CAR FOUND
Bresaw had been driving a stolen car, a blue 2001 Honda Civic. Earlier, Surêté du Quebec had been concerned he may have used the vehicle to cross over the border into the United States.
Spokesman Constable Pierre Tremblay confirmed by phone Friday afternoon that the car was found in a wooded area near Havelock, Quebec, just 6 miles from the Cannon Corners/Covey Hill border crossing in the Town of Mooers.
The scenario — a suspected murderer entering Mooers from Quebec — is one that summoned up tragic memories for police and locals alike on Friday. In early May 2007, Glen Race of Nova Scotia crossed the border afoot, on the run after allegedly slaying two men in Halifax. He killed Mooers Forks man Darcy Manor, 35, who was working at a hunting camp in Mooers. Race, 27, later apprehended near the Mexican border in Texas, was convicted of first-degree murder for Manor’s death and sentenced to life in prison. He was extradited to Halifax in 2010, where, according to CBC News Halifax, Race will stand trial for the deaths of Michael Knott and Trevor Brewster in September 2013. His attorney says he was not criminally responsible for the deaths because of a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.
LaFountain said Friday that witnesses who might have seen Bresaw are asked to contact police at 563-3761, as, he said, “we continue to assist our Canadian law-enforcement partners” in the investigation.
He praised the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Border Patrol and Plattsburgh-based State Police, including the Violent Crimes Investigation Team, for the “fantastic job” they did.
A white male, Bresaw is 5 foot 9 inches tall, about 150 pounds and bald, with brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white button-down, long-sleeved shirt and dark-colored pants. An earlier description said he was wearing black work shoes and carrying a black backpack.
Bresaw’s Facebook page lists his occupation as a yoga instructor and says he speaks English, French, Spanish and Creole.
He is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached, Tremblay said. Anyone with information is urged to contact 911 immediately.
CBC News said the names of the victims had not been released but reported two men, ages 56 and 71, and a 61-year-old woman died in the fire.
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