Officers from several police agencies are concentrating their search efforts in southern Virginia for a missing Cumberland County woman who disappeared after a Powhatan County man was found slain in her home Friday. Her ex-boyfriend, who was arrested early Saturday in North Carolina, has been charged in the killing.
On Monday, the suspect, George W. Knisley IV, 41, briefly escaped custody from the Wake County Justice Center in Raleigh, N.C., as he was being transferred to another facility to face additional charges. Handcuffed, Knisley pushed down a sheriff’s deputy and ran about a block and a half before a “good Samaritan” grabbed and held him for pursuing deputies, a Wake County sheriff’s spokesman said.
As he was being led to a patrol car, Knisley admitted “he was a murderer and didn’t want to live any longer,” said the spokesman, Eric Curry.
Based on investigative leads developed over the Memorial Day weekend, the Cumberland Sheriff’s Office — with assistance from the Virginia State Police, South Hill police, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management — is actively searching the area of South Hill and Mecklenburg for Amy Renee Fabian, 43. Authorities also are looking for a 2002 white Ford F-350 work truck that police believe Knisley stole Thursday in Maryland.
Investigators believe Knisley, who lives in Carroll County, Md., left Fabian’s home in the 200 block of Mount Airy Lane in Cumberland driving the truck, which has “Alleghany Industries” displayed on the side.
Police captured Knisley early Saturday morning in Wake County, N.C., after he allegedly carjacked a man in Raleigh of his 2009 Toyota Corolla outside a motel and later led Wake County sheriff’s deputies in a brief pursuit before crashing the car. Knisley is being held on an assortment of charges, including for murder in the killing of Matthew T. Broyles, 29, of Powhatan, who was found dead Friday in Fabian’s home.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller described Broyles and Fabian as friends.
Authorities have not said whether they believe Fabian is alive or dead.
The investigation began about 3:30 a.m. Friday when Cumberland authorities received a 911 call about a homicide occurring in Fabian’s home. Upon arrival, deputies found Broyles dead and Fabian missing.
Police have not disclosed how they believe Broyles was killed. His body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Richmond for an autopsy and determination of cause of death.
Later Friday morning, about 6:30 a.m., a woman walking to her car from a residence in South Hill encountered a man who threatened her at gunpoint and stole her 2013 Honda Civic. The woman was not harmed and the man — who fit Knisley’s description — drove away in her car, police said.
The Civic was subsequently recovered in Raleigh, where Knisley is suspected of carjacking the man of his Corolla and driving away.
Curry, the spokesman for the Wake County, N.C., Sheriff’s Office, said a deputy spotted a man driving the stolen Corolla on Saturday shortly after midnight after receiving a be-on-the-lookout call for the vehicle from Raleigh police.
That deputy and another, along with a Raleigh K-9 officer, then pursued Knisley briefly at high speeds before he crashed. He suffered minor injuries, Curry said.
Officers found a loaded handgun on the driver’s-side floorboard. Knisley had no identification and was very uncooperative, Curry said.
However, “he was making comments that he was wanted for murder” in Virginia, Curry said. A short time later, North Carolina authorities confirmed there was an outstanding murder warrant for his arrest, Curry added.
Then on Monday about 1:45 p.m., as a deputy was in the process of transferring Knisley from the Wake County Justice Center to another facility to appear before a magistrate at the Wake County Detention Center on additional charges, Knisley attempted to escape “and make a run for it,” Curry said.
Knisley told the deputy his right handcuff was too tight, and when the deputy tried to loosen it, Knisley pushed him with his shoulder, knocking the deputy down. Knisley, still handcuffed, then ran down the jail’s sally port ramp and onto a nearby street, Curry said.
The deputy then gave chase and the good Samaritan who spotted Knisley fleeing grabbed him by the arm and pulled him down to the ground, holding him until deputies could arrive, Curry said.
“He made it about a block and a half,” Curry said.