Four homicide suspects remain at large after two separate killings in London
Police speak to a man who lives at the rear of 504 English St., where a 36-year-old man was shot dead about 10:30 p.m. Monday. CRAIG GLOVER/The London Free Press/QMI Agency
It’s been nearly two weeks since James Willits was ambushed and beaten to death in his home, and five days since Mark McCullagh died after he was shot while taking out the garbage.
And as time goes by, the hunt for both men’s killers is becoming more desperate.
With four suspects believed on the run after the two unrelated killings, the need for tips from the public is becoming more crucial to solving the cases, said Paul Whitehead, a Western University sociology professor emeritus.
“All of the low-hanging fruit has been checked out, the obvious places to look have already been looked at,” he said Friday.
“As time goes on, it becomes more difficult, and you end up having to rely on clues that will come from somebody else — not somebody that (police) thought to interview. And sometimes you have to wait until those people come out of the woodwork.”
In the Willits homicide, police have charged one man, (Ronald) Travis Chrisjohn, 30, with second-degree murder, and have issued an arrest warrant for Steven Antone, 22, who is on the lam, wanted for second-degree murder and robbery.
Steven Barry Antone
In the McCullagh case, police have released few details other than to say they’re looking for three men who were travelling in a red pickup truck with white lettering above the rear wheels.
McCullagh’s wife Mary Willar told the Free Press two men whom she had never seen before came into her house after her husband was shot outside. She said one man appeared confused and demanded money from her — which she did not give him because she didn’t have any,
But police said they believe McCullagh and culprits knew each other and maintain they believe there were three suspects.
It would be better for the investigation if they did know each other, said Whitehead, who specializes in criminology.
“If there is a relationship, it increases the likelihood those people will be found and found soon,” he said.
The time lag is concerning to police, said the head of major crimes, adding officers have been following leads and canvassing neighbourhoods.
“With respect to both cases, it’s very important to us that if any members of the public have been on the fence — not sure whether to call or not, maybe they aren’t sure the information is important — please call us,” Staff Sgt. Paul Bastien said.
Anyone with information about circumstances surrounding either case is asked to contact police at 519-661-5670.
- James Willits, 29, died March 3, hours after being attacked in his Base Line Rd. apartment.
- Mark McCullagh, 36, died March 9, after being shot outside his English St. home.
- (Ronald) Travis Chrisjohn, 30, of London is charged with second-degree murder in the death of Willits. Police are seeking Steven Antone, 22, of London on charges of second-degree murder and robbery.
- Police are looking for three men in McCullagh’s death