Monday, February 17, 2014

Maxwell murder suspect surrenders in California

By Loretta Winston
Oxford Eagle

OXFORD – Ryan Rand, suspect in the murders of Olympic hopefuls Cameron and Caitlin Maxwell, surrendered Saturday to Yoknapatawpha County sheriff's detectives in Santa Rosa, California.

A warrant for Rand's arrest was issued last Monday, February 10. Investigators soon tracked Rand, 20, to the Bohemia Zen Center in Santa Rosa, about an hour north of San Francisco.

Rand was taken into custody without incident by Sonoma County sheriff's deputies, said Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Jones. Yoknapatawpha County detectives were also present at the arrest.

Rand reportedly will not fight extradition and will be returned to Yoknapatawpha County early this week. He is expected to be held at the county jail without bond pending a hearing, said Jones.

Athletes reported missing

Ice dancing siblings Cameron and Caitlin Maxwell were reported missing on January 5 by their parents, Todd and Robin Maxwell.

A knife and jacket that sheriff's department sources say are connected to the case were found January 9 at Toby Tubby Creek near the Eastgate Shopping Center on University Avenue. Cameron and Caitlin Maxwell were last seen at the Magnolia Transit bus stop at that shopping center.

On January 12, the Maxwells' luggage was found in Hurricane Creek at Highway 7 north of Oxford.

However, no trace of Cameron and Caitlin Maxwell themselves was found until January 14, when an anonymous tip led investigators to St. Peter's Cemetery, where both bodies were found in a freshly dug grave.

Autopsies revealed that Caitlin Maxwell had been stabbed to death, and Cameron Maxwell died of a shotgun wound to the head.

Rand disappears ahead of arrest warrant

On February 1, YCSD detectives went to Rand's Virginia Street residence for a routine well-being check after witnesses reported they hadn't seen or heard from Rand in over two weeks.

Based on what they saw in plain sight during the well-being check, the detectives obtained a search warrant for Rand's residence and vehicles, according to Jones.

"Evidence collected at Mr. Rand's residence and from one of his vehicles directly connects him to the Maxwell homicides," Jones told reporters at a brief press conference to announce the arrest.

Jones took no questions and declined to specify the nature of the evidence against Rand or his presumed motive.

An unlikely killer?

Rand is a computer science major at Ole Miss and part-time studio musician with no criminal record.

Sources in California say he had been immersed in intensive meditation and study at the Bohemia Zen Center for nearly a month prior to his arrest.

A friend of Rand's, who asked not to be identified, said she was stunned to hear that he was implicated in the killings.

"I just can't believe Ryan would do anything like this," the friend said. "He and Cameron were best friends. Why would Ryan want to hurt him or Caitlin? It doesn't make any sense."

Neither the Maxwell family nor the Rand family responded to requests for comment by press time.


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