A North Carolina man suspected of a multi-state crime spree that included a double murder is dead after a warrant for a hitchhiker he and his girlfriend picked up led to a Pennsylvania motel where they were holed up.
Lloyd Wayne Franklin, 34, and his girlfriend Jennifer Lanning, 34, were in the motel room, according to the sheriff’s office in Davidson County, North Carolina. Officials in Pennsylvania said Franklin was found dead in the room and Lanning surrendered to police.
The couple has been on the run since Oct. 29, when police found the bodies of Davie Lee McSwain, 82, and his wife, Joan McSwain, 78, in their Thomasville home.
Authorities believe Davie McSwain shot Franklin before he died. Police said after Franklin fled the scene, he picked up Lanning and the two stole prescription painkillers during pharmacy robberies in Aberdeen and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and Georgetown, South Carolina, before apparently heading north.
Davie McSwain was a retired military veteran while Joan McSwain had been retired from a local bank, according to WXII.
Bensalem, Pennsylvania public safety director Fred Harran said along the couple’s travels, they picked up a hitchhiker who turned out to be wanted for a parole violation for an auto theft conviction.
When officers found out the hitchhiker was in the area, they knocked on the door of the Knights Inn motel room in Trevose at about 3 p.m. Saturday, Harran said. Franklin answered and apparently assumed police were after him for the homicides.
Franklin fired at the officers, who weren’t hit and didn’t return fire because they knew there were in the room, Harran said.
Lanning then surrendered and told police two men were in the room, one with a gunshot wound. The second man held police at bay for about 2 1/2 hours but also surrendered, police said.
Franklin was found dead in the room of a gunshot wound, but police have not determined how he died, Harran said.
"It appears the individual may have killed himself so as not to be taken into custody by police," Harran said.
The hitchhiker was not identified Saturday.
The McSwains' son found the bodies of his parents, police said. The home had been ransacked, so police believe it was a home-invasion robbery.
The pharmacy robberies netted Franklin 1,800 tablets of the painkiller Opana and patches of fentanyl, Davidson County Sheriff David Grice said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.