Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis

Oliver Northup and Claudia Maupin had stab wounds, but no cause of death is disclosed.

Police report few clues in Davis double killing

Published: Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 1B
Last Modified: Wednesday, Apr. 17, 2013 - 10:31 am

They are smiling in the portrait. Oliver Northup, handsome in a navy suit and matching tie; his wife, Claudia Maupin, beaming, her eyes warm and kind.

It's an image a reeling Davis community will cling to as authorities continue their work to find the couple's killers.

Police discovered the bodies of longtime local attorney and musician Oliver J. Northup, 87, and wife Claudia M. Maupin, 76, at their Davis home late Sunday. Relatives said the two failed to show for a memorial service Sunday afternoon where Northup was scheduled to sing.

The pair suffered stab wounds, police said on Monday, but medical examiners had not yet determined a cause of death.

There were signs that someone had broken into the couple's home, police officials said. But investigators Tuesday had little else to go on.

"We're looking at all possible leads, all possible motives," said Davis police Lt. Paul Doroshov.

No fewer than five agencies are helping Davis police – including the FBI, which said it is supplying investigators and forensics experts. Others include the Yolo County District Attorney's Office and Coroner's Office, West Sacramento police and the state Department of Justice.

"Manpower, technical expertise, forensics – we're trying to solve this problem," Doroshov said.

Investigators on Monday morning initially thought they had a break in the case after a brief high-speed chase and arrest of a Davis man in Fairfield, but quickly ruled out the man as a suspect.

While officers combed the couple's south Davis home for clues, a neighbor saw a man who looked suspicious in a nearby parking lot, Doroshov said.

Officers tried to question the man about 10 a.m. But he fled in his car, leading Davis police, California Highway Patrol officers and Vacaville police on a high-speed chase on Interstate 80 that ended minutes later with his arrest on a Fairfield freeway offramp, CHP officials said Tuesday.

The man, Ayman Elahi, is being held in lieu of $90,000 bail at Yolo County jail, on allegations connected to the chase, said Doroshov and jail officials.

"He is not a person of interest (in the slayings). He is not a suspect," Doroshov said.

As police continue to seek answers, friends with many questions of their own are seeking solace in their memories of the couple they knew.

At the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, where Northup was a founding member and Maupin a pastoral associate and spiritual director, the pair were "deeply respected," said the Rev. Elizabeth Banks.

"They both made very deep connections with people," Banks said. "They were deeply loved."

Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.

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