SAUGUS (CBS) – A Lynn man wanted for the murders of his mother and grandmother admitted he slit their throats after he was captured at the Canadian border, authorities said in court documents released Wednesday.
Joseph Wright, 23, was taken into custody as he attempted to cross the border from Maine into Canada Tuesday evening.
He will be charged with the murders of his mother, 54-year-old Donna Breau, and his grandmother, 83-year-old Melba Trahant.
Their bodies were found under a tarp behind the Lynnhurst Elementary School in Saugus Tuesday morning.
The Essex County District Attorney’s Office announced the arrest late Wednesday morning.
Wright will be arraigned at Houlton District Court in Houlton, Maine Wednesday afternoon on fugitive from justice charges. If he waives his extradition, he will be turned over to State police in Massachusetts, where he will face murder charges.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit released late Wednesday morning, when police found the bodies under a tarp Tuesday, it was initially believed they were homeless, until it was discovered that their throats had been slashed and that they had been stabbed.
After police identified both victims, they went to Breau’s home in Lynn, where she and Trahant lived in separate apartments.
According to the court documents, investigators found blood in both apartments and determined that Wright was living with his mother in her home at the time.
At 6:05 p.m. Tuesday, a customs officer at the Canadian border in Woodstock, New Brunswick spotted Wright driving his grandmother’s Toyota Corolla and directed him to a screening area. He tried to run away but was caught a short time later.
Canadian authorities found blood on the outside of the car and on the windows and they later discovered blood on Wright’s underwear, the affidavit stated.
As he was being advised of his rights, Wright allegedly told the customs officer that he had slit his mother and grandmother’s throats, but the officer cautioned him to stop talking.
According to the documents, he then admitted dumping the bodies at the school and that he left the knife at his grandmother’s apartment.
Wright was later turned over to Maine State Police. He’s being held in the Aroostook County Jail.
“I want to thank Massachusetts State Police Detectives and Crime Scene Services, Saugus and Lynn Police, Canada Border Services Agency, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, FBI, U.S. Customs Border Patrol and Maine State Police for working so hard to identify and apprehend the suspect of this horrific and gruesome crime so quickly,” Essex County District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett said in a statement.
Blodgett said more details about the murders will be announced at Wright’s arraignment.
Lynnhurst Elementary School was closed on Tuesday and investigators said children never saw the bodies.