A couple wanted for questioning in a Florida homicide were taken into custody in Las Vegas early Thursday after a brief police pursuit that ended in a fiery rollover crash at Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area.
U.S. Marshals Service Fugitive Investigative Strike Team members arrested Kenneth Ellis and Rachael Schemenauer on felony charges of burglary and theft. According to U.S. Marshals Assistant Chief Deputy Steven Carpenter, authorities also had identified the couple as people of interest in a suspicious death Sept. 27 in Tarpon Springs, Florida, about 30 miles outside Tampa Bay.
Carpenter said a man in his 30s was found dead inside a burning condo.
It wasn’t clear how authorities in Florida had linked the two to the death, but Carpenter said Thursday that investigators had learned Ellis, 34, and Schemenauer, 27, had fled to Las Vegas, where they were found hiding at a campsite in Red Rock Canyon.
The couple fled after law enforcement tried to pull them over in the canyon, said Lt. Jose Hernandez of the Metropolitan Police Department, which is a member of the fugitive task force and was assisting in the arrests.
Ellis, who was driving, led them on a short chase but lost control of the vehicle near Blue Diamond and Moenkopi roads, between Calico Basin and the Red Rock Canyon campgrounds.
The car had rolled over but, Hernandez said, Ellis and Schemenauer refused to exit until it had caught fire.
Both were booked into the Clark County Detention Center to await extradition to Florida.