GERMANTOWN, Md. – The husband of a killed woman was arrested in North Carolina on Thursday and charged with first-degree murder, but police said they were still searching for her missing 11-year-old son.
Curtis Lopez, 45, was taken into custody around 9:30 a.m. Thursday as he was leaving an EconoLodge in Charlotte, N.C. The arrest came after Jane McQuain was found dead in the bedroom of her condominium on Wednesday night in Germantown, about 30 miles northwest of Washington.
Police found her car, but not her son, William McQuain. He was last seen Sept. 30, police said. William is Lopez's stepson.
"Our priority, our focus right now is to locate William McQuain," said Montgomery County Police Chief J. Thomas Manger. "We were hoping that we would find him with Mr. Lopez, but we did not."
Details about the couple's relationship were not immediately available. Manger said Lopez frequented his wife's neighborhood and had recently been seen removing property from McQuain's home and placing it inside her car.
Police discovered the 51-year-old McQuain after an acquaintance called police earlier in the day and said she'd not been heard from for about two weeks. It wasn't clear when she was killed, Manger said, but she is believed to have been alive as recently as Oct. 1 or 2.
McQuain suffered trauma to her body, but police would not reveal more information about the death pending the release of autopsy results.
Manger said he did not know whether Lopez was being cooperative. It was not immediately clear when he would be returned to Maryland.
Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman, said detectives were trying to interview people close to McQuain.
The boy is a sixth-grader at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School.
Dana Tofig, a spokesman for the Montgomery County public school system, said he could not discuss the specifics of McQuain's case, but typically the school sends a recorded phone call to a student's guardian after an unexplained absence. After more than four consecutive absent days, the guidance office then assumes responsibility for trying to track down a parent or guardian.
"We're looking at the timeline in this case and we have shared that information with the police," Tofig said.
Officials at the middle school declined to comment.
Students found out about McQuain's disappearance Thursday. A letter would also go home to parents, Tofig said.
Josh McDonald, 23, who lives in a complex across the street from McQuain, said he often saw William playing outside with friends but did not know his mother. A photograph distributed by police shows a smiling William in a recreational baseball uniform.
McDonald said violent crime in the neighborhood was very rare.