SEATTLE – A Washington state man wanted in connection with the death of his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend who was found in a burning home was arrested in Oklahoma City on Monday, authorities said.
Jarod Lane, 19, was picked up by Oklahoma City police and Oklahoma state troopers after his abandoned vehicle was spotted on the shoulder of Interstate 35 about 18 miles north of Oklahoma City, and a television news crew reported seeing him on the road, said Betsy Randolph, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Lane is a suspect in the death of Jessica Scholl, Renton police Detective Robert Onishi said. Lane and Scholl had a romantic relationship but had recently broken up. She was a student at Lindbergh High School; he graduated from the school last year, according to the detective.
Lane was taken into custody by Oklahoma City police on a temporary felony arrest for homicide, Onishi said. Detectives from Renton, which is just south of Seattle, are traveling to Oklahoma City to interview him.
Police had been seeking Lane since firefighters found the girl's body after putting out a couch fire at the home Friday morning. Lane's previous last known location was at a gas station in North Bend on Friday morning.
On Sunday, police in the city of Enid, north of Oklahoma City, received a report of a possible sighting of Lane, Onishi said.
On Monday morning, a state trooper patrolling I-35 found Lane's abandoned car with a handwritten sign noting that he had gone to get gas, Randolph said. The trooper ran the license plates and seized the vehicle as evidence once it became clear the car was associated with a homicide suspect, she said.
Randolph said she posted the news on the patrol's Facebook page to alert the media and drivers not to pick up Lane along the road. Several hours later, a KFOR-TV reporter in Oklahoma City called to report that he and his photographer had spotted the man while on their way out to cover that story, Randolph said.
"When the reporter saw him, he (Lane) still had the same ball cap, same clothes," she said.
Troopers and police officers arrested Lane shortly afterward.
"It's absolutely crazy. ... We were hoping to keep people from giving him rides. I've never had a media person go out of their way to report a crime," she added.