Former Cal Fire Battalion Chief Arrested

Published 05/16 2014 11:29PM

Updated 05/17 2014 12:08AM

The manhunt for former Cal Fire Battalion Chief Orville Fleming is over and investigators say he has admitted to murdering his girlfriend. 
The 55-year old was caught in Elk Grove Friday morning, about 15 miles south of Sacramento. 
"He was a lone survivor for those 16 days. 
Fleming is accused of killing his 26-year old girlfriend Sarah Douglas.  On May 1st, she was discovered stabbed to death in their home.  Fleming fled and became the prime suspect.  Police found his Cal Fire pickup abandoned in Elk Grove, which apparently is close to where he was hiding out the entire time. 
"He had been basically living under a bush for long periods of time without venturing out.  It was hidden in plain site," said Detective Brian Meux of the Sacramento Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Friday, while traveling to a store to grab some food, Fleming caught the eye of a detective in the area. 
"Saw an individual that looked like it could be Mr. Fleming boarding a public bus," said Sheriff Scott Jones.
Deputies followed the bus, approached the man, asked if he was Fleming and then arrested him. 
"He wasn't looking to make a scene.  He realized the jig was up at that point," said Meux.
Then during an interview Fleming explained how an argument with his girlfriend escalated in murder. 
"He gave a statement over the course of a couple hours.  He admitted culpability in the stabbing of Ms. Douglas on may first and gave a full statement in that regard," said Sheriff Scott Jones.
A Cal Fire spokesman says his their agency is relieved this search has come to an end. 
"We're very glad this is over.  We have a very busy fire season, a very active fire season.  Now we can refocus and make sure our employees are staying focused on what could be a very dangerous and long fire season," said Daniel Berlant of Cal Fire.

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