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Cal Fire Batallion Chief Sought In Stabbing Of Girlfriend May Be Hiding In Santa Cruz Area

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SACRAMENTO (CBS/AP) — 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.

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.

“All of those things that a survivalist or outdoorsman type of person like we know he is can actually survive and hide much longer,” 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.

The manhunt includes the Santa Cruz mountains, an area he apparently knew well.

TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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