Police seek fire chief accused of murdering girlfriend

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The Sacramento Bee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The state fire battalion chief wanted in the stabbing to death of the woman he lived with is at risk of killing himself, may be wounded and could be armed, according the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

The search for Orville Fleming, 55, a battalion chief with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, continued into its second day on Friday. He is wanted in the death of Sarah Jane Douglas, 26, whose body was found Thursday in the home the couple shared on Fox River Way near Calvine Road.

The Sheriff’s Department believes that Douglas was killed just after midnight on Thursday.

She was found dead about 8:55 a.m. Thursday by her sister, Stephanie Douglas. Crime scene investigators, detectives and crime lab personnel found a bloody scene at the home.

Most of the blood is believed to be that of the young woman; however, investigators suspect that Fleming has injuries that caused him to bleed at the scene as well.

Fleming’s Cal Fire pickup was found near Black Kite Drive and Apricot Woods Way in Elk Grove on Thursday. Residents told investigators that Fleming may know somebody or have ties to the neighborhood because the pickup has been seen parked in the same area before.

Police dogs, a helicopter and an airplane were used to search for Fleming in the area, but were unsuccessful.

Although a firearm was not used to kill Douglas, Fleming owned firearms and likely has weapons with him, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

Yellow police tape lay on the ground Friday on each end of Fox River Way, a quiet suburban street next to Sheldon High School in south Sacramento.

Neighbor Hihn Nguyen said the couple moved into the single-story stucco house six to eight months ago. He didn’t know where Douglas worked but said Fleming often brought a fire vehicle home, so everyone knew he worked as a firefighter.

Both were friendly to neighbors who often crossed paths when they checked the mail at the collection of curbside mailboxes in the evening, but Nguyen said he saw Fleming hit Douglas one day last month when the couple were in front of their house.

“She was a beautiful girl,” who often went jogging through the neighborhood, Nguyen said.

Nguyen said neighbors gathered along the street Thursday as police, firefighters and media swarmed the neighborhood. He said neighbors said she had been planning to move out Monday.

The search is also focused on Fresno and Clovis because Fleming has family in those areas. His family is cooperating with authorities.

Anyone with information about Fleming’s whereabouts is asked to call their local law enforcement agency or the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department at .

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