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MAN WHO FLED MURDER PROBE IS CAUGHT IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY

A fugitive from a Michigan murder investigation went from mail to jail Tuesday after law enforcement officers surrounded him in a post office parking lot.

Marvin C. Gabrion Jr., 43, turned up at a mail drop that had been staked out for the last two weeks and was confronted by three letters: FBI.

FBI agents, Chautauqua County sheriff's deputies and state police captured Gabrion as he left the post office in this rural Chautauqua County community shortly after noon Tuesday.

He is wanted for questioning in the death of a young mother and the disappearance of her baby daughter, FBI spokesmen said.

Gabrion was taken to Buffalo, where he appeared briefly in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Carol Heckman. He was ordered held without bail on federal charges of fleeing Michigan to avoid a drunken-driving case and Social Security fraud.

Why the suspect had a post office box in Sherman was being kept secret by police late Tuesday. Police sources said they did not think Gabrion has relatives or friends in Sherman.

Police have been on the lookout for Gabrion in Sherman since late September.

He has been sought for questioning since July, when the body of Rachel Timmerman, 19, was discovered in a remote lake in Manistee National Forest in central Michigan. He had been facing trial in the rape of Ms. Timmerman last year, but she vanished a few weeks before trial.

Ms. Timmerman's daughter, Shannon VerHage, 1, is missing, along with a witness to the alleged sexual assault, Wayne Davis, 44, described as a friend of Ms. Timmerman, and another man, John Weeks, 20.

Gabrion is a prime suspect, but there are no charges against him in those investigations.

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