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Crime Insider: Fire medic spotted murder suspect at Publix

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. – A murder suspect who was on the loose for two days was captured without incident following a nearly three-hour manhunt in Midlothian Sunday afternoon.

Joshua M. Federico, who is accused of shooting his estranged wife and murdering her boyfriend on Friday, was captured just before 4 p.m.

Lt. Brad Connor with Chesterfield Police said “after several hours and many sightings,” Federico was "taken into custody without incident," at an abandoned home in the 7900 block of Spring Run Road.

Police said Federico is being held without bond at the Chesterfield County Jail.

Connor credited the public with helping officers track Federico’s movements.

“During the several hours, emergency communications as well as Crime Solvers received numerous calls in regards to his whereabouts,” Connor said. “Without their assistance, Federico would not have been apprehended.”

Additionally, Connor said the crucial information gave officers locations to utilize K-9s to track the suspect.

Connor said those K-9 officers were “instrumental” during the manhunt, of which more than 50 officers from various departments took part.

Murder Suspect Joshua M. Federico spotted outside Publix.

Murder Suspect Joshua M. Federico spotted outside Publix.

Crime Insider sources said a fire medic spotted Federico at a Publix grocery store at the Harbour Pointe Shopping Center on Hull Street Road around 11:20 a.m.

A photo later released by police shows Federico walking into the store with no shirt on.

That launched the nearly three-hour manhunt and the subsequent sightings in the Deer Run neighborhood.

"In Deer Run neighborhood where fully armed police line the neighborhood and helicopter circles the sky, waiting to close in on Federico," reporter Shannon Lilly said.

U.S. Marshals announced a $5,000 reward for information about Federico late Saturday.

Police charged Federico with murder on Saturday after human remains believed to be those of 38-year-old Lawrence J. Howell, the boyfriend of his estranged wife, were discovered at a property adjacent to his home in the 12300 block of Black Road on Friday.

Federico is also wanted on charges of malicious wounding and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony following a shooting that left his wife injured around 3:30 a.m. Friday.

She was transported to an area hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Officials said that while they did not have an official update Sunday on the victim’s condition, police said she was “talking and awake.”

Court documents: Suspect filed for divorce

Court records show Federico filed for divorce June 12, 2018, claiming his wife of six years committed adultery on several occasions. The couple was married on August 31, 2012.

In a cross-complaint she neither admitted nor denied the allegations but called for “strict proof" and moved out of their home in April 13, 2018.

“The plaintiff [Joshua Federico] has been guilty of extreme cruelty to the defendant, has caused her to have a car accident, has belittled her, has tried to ruin her financially, has stolen her money and her cell phone and wanted her to leave him,” court documents stated.

The victim’s attorney said she feared for her client’s safety and that her client was "extremely scared" of the suspect.

In fact, WTVR CBS 6 has learned the victim filed a protective order against Federico in April when she moved.

Additionally, friends said the victim’s house was broken into earlier this month and that her safe, computers and gun was stolen among other things.

Police said their investigation into the incident remains ongoing.

If you have information that could help investigators, call Chesterfield County Police Department at 804-748-1251, Crime Solvers at 804-748-0660 or U.S. Marshals at 877-WANTED-2.