SANDERS, Ariz. - A man linked to the murder of an elderly couple in Sanders was captured Friday in Mesa, the Apache County Sheriff’s Office said.
Deputies were asked to do a welfare check at the home of Robert Sorensen, 81, and Martha Sorensen, 75, after family members expressed concern that several of their phone calls went unanswered.
According to ACSO, the couple's bedroom window appeared to be damaged by gunfire, and the couple was found dead inside the home from apparent gunshot wounds.
Based on investigative leads and witness accounts, deputies identified 51-year-old Garry B. Wilckens as a person of interest in the elderly couple's deaths, ACSO said. Deputies said Wilckens was the boyfriend of the Sorensens’ daughter.
Earlier this week, The sheriff’s office issued a statewide manhunt for Wilckens. Police were able to track him to Mesa, where officers arrested him on Friday.
While detectives haven’t said much about a motive, the Sorensen family has their suspicions.
“Because of jealousy. He was a possessive guy," said William Sorensen, the grandson of Robert and Martha. "If she didn't get back together with him, he was going to kill her and my two little cousins, and any one else."
The arrest has brought some comfort to the Sorensens’ devastated family and their terrified community.
“It’s a huge relief just to have that suspect in custody, so they can know not to worry about him coming back into the area,” said Chief Deputy Brannon with the Apache County Sheriff's Office.
Wilckens will be extradited to Apache County to face charges.
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