MARIANNA, Pa. – A man suspected of killing his wife and two young children in their rural western Pennsylvania home was arrested Thursday after a daylong manhunt.
Orlando Maurice Guarino, 38, was charged with three counts of homicide after being captured in Washington, Pa., said state police Capt. Sheldon Epstein.
The arrest brought to an end a search in which authorities surrounded a motel and used electronic billboard messages on highways to ask motorists to look out for a white GMC pickup truck Guarino was believed to be driving. Helicopters also scoured the area.
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The bodies of 22-year-old Ashley Guarino, her 2-year-old daughter Dreux and 11-month-old son Orlando Jr. were found by relatives at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.
Washington County Coroner Tim Warco said it appeared they were asphyxiated, but didn't immediately say how. Warco ruled the deaths homicides, and said autopsies were pending.
Orlando and Ashley Guarino had separated recently, authorities said.
Court documents showed the couple traded abuse allegations last month that resulted in a protection-from-abuse order against Orlando Guarino. Among her allegations, Ashley Guarino claimed her husband had held the boy out the window of a moving vehicle.
Orlando Guarino was unemployed and his wife was a waitress at the Moose Lodge in nearby Washington, Pa., according to court documents. Danielle Ehrhardt, a neighbor who baby-sat for the couple's children, said Orlando Guarino did make some money cutting grass.
"Anytime they talked to us, they were really happy," said Ehrhardt, 18. The husband "was always real pleasant, especially with his kids." But she said the couple had recently been in a dispute involving the care of the children.
Ehrhardt remembered Orlando Jr. was just learning how to walk and loved to play with cell phones, while Dreux needed to watch cartoons on TV to help her fall asleep.
By midmorning Thursday, authorities had left the crime scene in Marianna, about 30 miles south of Pittsburgh. Traffic alert signs on nearby Interstate 79 were flashing the license plate number and description of the truck that police believe Guarino was driving.
Ashley Guarino got the temporary protection order against Orlando on June 19, a day after the couple argued and Guarino allegedly threatened to kill her and the children.
Her court filing claimed that she and her husband were in a moving vehicle when Orlando Guarino held a car seat — with his son in it — out a window and said, "You wanna see something crazy?"
She also claimed her husband had carried the baby into the house on his hip with a butcher knife in the other hand. He also once drove her to a truck in the woods and said he wanted her to watch as he killed himself, she claimed.
Orlando Guarino's request for a protective order against his wife was denied. He had filed papers claiming she and her father threatened to shoot him.
Ashley Guarino and the children moved out of the house after the discord, but recently returned, Ehrhardt said.
Orlando Guarino has a criminal record.
In 2006, he was charged with aggravated assault and related counts, which were all dismissed or withdrawn, according to court records. He was charged in several cases in 1994 and another in 1997. Those cases, which included aggravated assault, weapons and drug counts, resulted in a prison sentence of two to four years, according to court records.