The Washington Post

Search continues for William McQuain; suspect in mother’s death to be moved from N.C. to Md.

Curtis M. Lopez, the man accused of killing a Germantown woman whose 11-year-old son is missing, appeared in a North Carolina courtroom Monday and said he would go to Maryland to face charges, officials in Charlotte said Monday.

In Montgomery County, meanwhile, detectives continued searching for the boy, pursuing leads along opposite tracks: the hope that he is alive and indications that he might not be.

On Monday, for the second day in a row, police officers and volunteers, guided by cadaver-sniffing dogs, looked through wooded areas in the northern part of the county. Smaller search teams will comb different parts of the Germantown/Damascus area Tuesday, said Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman. He declined to say how police know what areas to search, saying that doing so could compromise the investigation.

The case began Wednesday, when police were called to a Germantown apartment shared by Jane McQuain, 51, and her son, William McQuain, 11. Jane McQuain was found dead in a bedroom, the result of stab wounds and blunt force trauma. There was no sign of William. Neither had been seen for more than a week before Wednesday’s discovery of Jane McQuain’s body.

Police in North Carolina found McQuain’s car the next day. A short time later, they arrested Lopez, her estranged husband, who has been charged in connection with her slaying.

On Monday, Lopez appeared in Mecklenburg County District Court before Judge Philip Howerton. The hearing lasted less than two minutes, said Julia Rush, a spokeswoman for the Mecklenburg Sheriff’s Office. When asked, Lopez agreed to sign papers starting the process of being transferred to Maryland, Rush said.

No transfer date was immediately set, she said.

On Sunday, police searched wooded areas in Damascus Recreational Park and Little Bennett Regional Park. On Monday, about two dozen officers and volunteers, again guided by the dogs, searched nearby areas around Comsat Drive and the Magruder Branch Trail, police said. They found no trace of William.

Dan Morse covers courts and crime in Montgomery County. He arrived at the paper in 2005, after reporting stops at the Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun and Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, where he was a Pulitzer Prize finalist. He is the author of The Yoga Store Murder.

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