- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 13, 2011

The husband of a woman found dead in her Germantown home was arrested Thursday in North Carolina in connection with her death and the disappearance of her 11-year-old son, who remains missing, Montgomery County police said.

Curtis Maurice Lopez, 45, was arrested Thursday morning at an Econo Lodge in Charlotte, N.C., after authorities found his wife’s car in the hotel parking lot, county police Chief J. Thomas Manger said.

Police said Jane McQuain, 51, could have been dead since Oct. 1. She was found in her apartment in the 13100 block of Briarcliff Terrace on Wednesday night after a friend told police that he had been unable to contact her for some time.

Police hoped they would find Ms. McQuain’s son, William McQuain, when they arrested Mr. Lopez but so far have been unable to find him, Chief Manger said.

“Our focus and our priority now is locating William McQuain,” the chief said outside police headquarters in Rockville. “My hope is that he may be with a family member or friend who has no idea what occurred with his mother. As time goes on, it becomes more of a long-shot that’s the case.”

The child, a sixth-grader at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Germantown, is Mr. Lopez’s stepson. He has not attended school nor been seen since Sept. 30, prompting additional concern for his well-being, police said.

County schools spokesman Dana Tofig said the protocol for a series of unexcused absences appears to have been followed in this case, though he would not go into detail.

The standard procedure would include the school attempting to contact the parent at work and home, then reaching out to emergency contacts. Mr. Tofig said the school system is looking into the timeline of attempted contacts.

Police have released few details about Ms. McQuain’s death, beyond stating she suffered trauma to the upper body.

Chief Manger said between the time Ms. McQuain was reported missing Wednesday afternoon and her body was found that night, investigators spoke with Mr. Lopez. They said his statements became inconsistent.

Witnesses saw Mr. Lopez, who did not live with his wife, removing items from her apartment and placing them in her vehicle in early October, police said.

County detectives were just arriving in Charlotte on Thursday evening, where Mr. Lopez was being held. He will be charged with first-degree murder, Chief Manger said.

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