AUGUSTA, Ga. – Stephen Stanko (search), the ex-convict suspected of killing two people and raping a teenage girl in South Carolina, was captured Tuesday near a shopping center, the U.S. Marshals Service said.
The fugitive, unarmed and wearing a suit and tie, was arrested without incident at around 3:30 p.m., Horry County Police spokesman Andy Christenson said. Stanko had just eaten lunch and was walking to a pickup truck in a parking lot in Augusta, Ga.
"He did not look dangerous at all," said Marcie Crown, manager of the Atlanta Bread Co. restaurant where Stanko ate. "It's very freaky."
Earlier Tuesday, the U.S. Marshals Service (search ) had offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to his capture. Tips from the public led authorities to search for him in the Augusta area — and police had also been tipped that a truck they believed Stanko was driving had been seen in the lot were he was captured.
Stanko, 37, is suspected of killing Laura Ling, 43, a librarian who lived with him outside Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Henry Lee Turner, 74.
Ling's body was discovered Friday after a teenage girl in the home called authorities and said she had been raped by Stanko, police said. Turner was found shot to death in his home on Saturday.
Stanko was charged with two counts of murder and one count of rape in South Carolina, and with a federal charge of unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, officials said. He was being held pending a federal court appearance, most likely Wednesday, U.S. Marshal Deputy Tim Stec said.
It was unclear when he would be returned to South Carolina.
Stanko was released from prison nearly a year ago after serving most of a 10-year sentence for kidnapping. While in prison, he co-wrote a book titled "Living in Prison: A History of the Correctional System With an Insider's View" with the help of two criminology professors.
Stanko wrote about the hardships of prison life and the fear of being labeled "a convicted felon" after his release. "What I fear most now is that I may carry some of this total institution back into society with me," he wrote.
Authorities said Stanko met Ling and Turner at the library where the ex-convict said he was researching a book.
A week ago, Stanko was fired after working for a month as a salesman for Stucco Supply in Myrtle Beach (search). Jeff Kendall, general manager, said Stanko was unreliable and brought in few sales.
FOX News' Anna Persky and The Associated Press contributed to this report.