LAKE OSWEGO, Ore. -- The suspect in a violent Lake Oswego murder has been captured after a major manhunt, the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office announced Saturday.
Erik John Meiser, 37, was wanted for the Monday morning murder of 57-year-old Fritz Hayes. He was considered armed and dangerous and a flyer had been circulated, along with his description on social media, alerting people to contact police immediately if they spotted him.
The public helped out with hundreds of tips, one of which helped police track Meiser to Corvallis, where he was arrested at gunpoint just after 2 p.m., Saturday, outside the Super 8 Motel at 407 2nd Street, according to officers.
Meiser was described as a white supremacist with a long history of violent crimes nationwide.
Hayes' family expressed relief over news of the arrest. They issued this statement to KGW shortly after the press conference: The Hayes Family is pleased with the apprehension of the suspect. We would like to thank all the city, county, state and federal law enforcement agencies involved. WE would also like to thank the community for their support of the family during this difficult time. The Hayes family asks that our privacy is respected during this time of mourning.
A warrant issued for his arrest accused him of aggravated murder, which carries a potential death penalty. The FBI joined the search Friday and officers from several agencies helped in his capture.
"A team spotted him walking on the sidewalk," Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts said. Then, the officers surrounded Meiser and arrested him. They said they caught him by surprise, which helped make for a swift and safe capture.
Meiser will be transferred to the Clackamas County Jail soon and investigators will continue to work to track his whereabouts since the Lake Oswego murder, to determine if there may be any other victims.
Meiser was also wanted in Ogden, Utah for aggravated assault and possession of a dangerous weapon. Police there Meiser he slashed a person in the face with a razor.