Murder suspect Dion was ‘hiding in plain sight’ in Florida

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Asst. Chief Nick Willard fields questions on the arrest of Matthew Dion
Asst. Chief Nick Willard fields questions on the arrest of Matthew Dion as Jeff Strelzin, from the NH AG’s office, looks on.

MANCHESTER, NH — When U.S. Marshals descended on Matthew Dion June 3, he had just left the motel room where he’d been staying in Orange Park, FLA, likely swapping the cost of the room for work as a painter/handyman to get by.

He was arrested without incident Wednesday morning, after initially giving U.S. Marshals a phony name.

“We believed him to be armed and dangerous, so we waited until he was outside,” said U.S. Marshal Dave Cargill. “He was very calm. He used a fake identity at first, but he came clean.”

As for his 15 months on the run eluding capture, Dion, 39, was “hiding in plain site,” according to Manchester Police Asst. Chief Nick Willard.

Dion will likely waive extradition as a fugitive in a Florida court and be returned to New Hampshire. He will be held without bail.

Jeff Strelzin, Chief of the NH Attorney General’s Homicide Unit, said Dion is currently facing a maximum sentence of life in prison for warrants charging him with two counts of second-degree murder. That could change following the indictment process.

He is accused of allegedly killing his elderly adoptive parents, Robert and Constance Dion, who perished in a fire at the Manchester home. On Sept. 3, 2014, Manchester Police charged Dion with the two counts of second-degree murder, and arson. The warrant for child pornography was issued April 4, 2014. On Nov. 22, 2014, Dion was charged with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, allowing the U.S. Marshals to join the manhunt.

Dion photo d

As a U.S. Marshals Top 15 Fugitive, Dion received extensive media attention, said Cargill — key to his capture, which was ultimately based on three strong tips received by authorities.

During a Wednesday afternoon press conference at Manchester Police headquarters, Cargill described how authorities acted quickly on anonymous tips, which had pinpointed Dion as someone the tipster had been introduced to last week at a party.

Cargill said elevating Dion to the US Marshals 15 Most Wanted list allowed authorities to bring more resources in on the case.

“It couldn’t have been more seamless,” said Cargill of the multi-agency manhunt. He also credited the media blitz and public response for flushing Dion out.

Other agencies involved included the Florida Regional Fugitive Task Force, and Florida agencies from Jackson, Tampa Tallahassee  and Orange Park, along with the Clay County Sheriff’s Department.

Cargill said once Dion was determined to be a fugitive, they believe his pattern was to move from place to place, befriending a few people here and there. He was most recently using the alias Cameron Bouchard, and had also been known to spend some time in the Atlanta area.

Deputy Marshal Greg Murano said that several people may receive a portion of the total $30,000 reward offered for Dion’s capture, which included $5,000 offered by MetLife, through the Dions’ estate attorney.

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About this Author

Carol Robidoux

PublisherManchester Ink Link

Longtime NH journalist and publisher of Loves R&B, German beer, and the Queen City!