crimesider

Calif. firefighter wanted for murder may be in mountains

Orville Fleming CBS Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - A battalion chief for California's firefighting agency who is being sought in the killing of a woman he lived with is an avid outdoorsman and may be hiding somewhere in the mountains, authorities said.

Homicide investigators have been trying to find Orville "Moe" Fleming, 55, since last week. He is known to frequent the Sierra Mountains, Santa Cruz Mountains and the Yosemite Valley, Sacramento County sheriff's Sgt. Lisa Bowman said.

Fleming is wanted on suspicion of fatally stabbing Sarah Jane Douglas, 26, on May 1 in the south Sacramento home that he shared with her.

CBS Sacramento reported Fleming may have met Douglas through MyRedbook.com, an escort website.

"We do know she had been advertising on [MyRedBook.com] as an escort in the past," Sacramento County Sgt. Lisa Bowman said, according to the station.

Authorities reportedly believe Fleming continued to use the escort site even after allegedly committing the crime. According to the station, investigators believe Fleming was likely picked up by someone he met on the site just moments after Douglas' fatal stabbing.

Fleming, who taught for several years at the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's academy in Ione, was fired Thursday after not reporting for duty or calling in for five days, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

Berlant said the termination was automatic because of Fleming's absence from work and has nothing to do with the allegations against him.

A statewide manhunt continues for Fleming, who is believed to have fled the immediate area in an unknown vehicle. He also has keys to various gates, trails and Cal Fire facilities throughout the state, Bowman said.

Fleming may have changed his appearance by shaving his head or mustache, and he has obvious tattoos on his left arm, Bowman added.

He is also likely to have suffered cuts to one or both of his hands during the alleged killing, Bowman said, and he is believed to be carrying .45- and .25-caliber pistols.

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