- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 30, 2001

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. The man sought for the killings of six of his relatives was captured while hiding in his mother's backyard today after his brother turned him in, ending a 10-day nationwide manhunt.

Nikolay Soltys, 27, was under a desk, Sacramento County Sheriff Lou Blanas said.

He was barefoot, dirty and shabbily dressed “and looked like he could have been hiding in a field somewhere,'' Mr. Blanas said. He did not resist when he was arrested around 8 a.m.

Mr. Soltys' brother called 911 to alert police, Mr. Blanas said. About 40 marked and unmarked sheriff's cars surrounded the house, and authorities went in after Mr. Soltys' mother left.

“He was not combative at all. There's no indication he was harbored by anyone,'' Mr. Blanas said. “We have this mass murderer off the streets.''

Mr. Soltys was on the FBI's top 10 Most Wanted list for allegedly slashing the throats of his pregnant wife, 3-year-old son and four other relatives.

He left notes in his abandoned car leading police to the body of his son and offering a rationale for the killings, investigators said. All were stabbed to death because they or other relatives “spoke out'' about topics Mr. Soltys considered private, authorities said.

More than a dozen Soltys relatives, including the slain children's siblings, had remained under police protection for the past week.

Police were unsure if the Ukrainian immigrant had remained in the Sacramento area since the killings. “We never had any actual sightings we could verify outside of the Sacramento area,'' Mr. Blanas said.

Deputies pursued more than 700 tips, including about 130 to the “America's Most Wanted'' television program that aired a segment on Mr. Soltys Saturday night. A $70,000 reward had been posted for Mr. Soltys' arrest.

Citrus Heights is a suburb of Sacramento.


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