ORANGE (CBS) –- The man and woman arrested over the weekend in a brutal home invasion that left a 95-year-old man dead and his wife seriously injured could be brought back to Massachusetts as early as the end of this week.
Joshua Hart, 23, and Brittany Smith, 27, both of Athol, were taken into custody Saturday morning by authorities in Rockbridge, Virginia, nearly 600 miles from where police say the pair committed the heinous crime.
According to the Rockbridge County Sheriff’s Department, the pair were found in a U-Haul truck parked in a Rockbridge Wal-Mart parking lot.
They are facing charges of murder, attempted murder, home invasion, armed robbery, larceny, and conspiracy. They are being held without bail.
It is not yet known whether the suspects targeted the elderly couple, or if the attack was completely random.
Police found Thomas Harty dead inside his East River Street home last Wednesday after an apparent home invasion. His wife, 77-year-old Joanna Fisher, was hospitalized with serious injuries.
Fisher’s son spoke with WBZ-TV about the crime on Friday.
“They’re obviously cowards and I can’t wait to meet him,” he said of the suspects, then on the loose.
In the tight-knit community, the uncommon sight of investigators was simply too much to bear for some.
During the town’s Harvest Day Parade on Sunday, members of the Orange Police Department and first responders placed flowers at the victims’ home.
“May our thoughts be with the Harty & Fisher families, as they continue to heal,” wrote Orange Fire Rescue EMS on their Facebook Page Monday.
Neighbors who live near Brittany Smith’s Athol home were horrified. “It’s unbelievable I can’t imagine Brittany being accused of that type of incident,” a neighbor said.
After the attack, investigators said the suspects were likely driving the couple’s 2003 Toyota Corolla station wagon, which was stolen from the home. After a “be on the look-out” alert was issued for that vehicle, it was found in Virginia, 45 miles from where Hart and Smith were arrested.
On Friday night, Massachusetts investigators notified Rockbridge authorities that Hart and Smith could be in Rockbridge County. Deputies in the Virginia county began looking for the fugitives, and found them the next morning.
The two were charged in the theft of the Corolla, and for receiving stolen property related to stolen credit and debit cards, the Northwestern District Attorney’s office said Monday.
Hart and Smith are due in court in Virginia for fugitive from justice arraignments Tuesday, and the Northwestern DA’s office said they could be back in Massachusetts as early as Thursday depending on whether or not they waive rendition.