Stabbing suspect caught in Montana

TUESDAY, FEB. 12, 2013

Bloody clothing aroused suspicion of motorist

Bloody clothes helped Pend Oreille County deputies track down a man suspected of killing his mother.

Matthew J. Swancara, 24, was arrested in Western Montana on Monday. Deputies expect him to be extradited to face charges of stabbing his mother, Sally Swancara, 56, to death in her home along Juanita Lane just north of the Spokane County line near Elk.

Pend Oreille County deputies had been searching for Swancara since they were called to the home Sunday night on a domestic violence report and discovered the body, according to Sheriff Alan Botzheim.

Swancara had fled the scene, he said.

“You just worry,” Botzheim said. “If you’ve committed a homicide, there is no telling what you may or may not do. But most of his anger was directed toward his mother.”

The search for Swancara turned when a motorist who picked up a hitchhiking Swancara noticed he had blood on his clothes.

Swancara had either abandoned his car or it broke down.

The driver notified police when he dropped off Swancara in Kalispell, Botzheim said.

“We knew he had ties in Montana. We had been in contact with Montana authorities,” Botzheim said.

Matthew Swancara previously pleaded guilty in Spokane County Superior Court to second-degree burglary in June 2010, and third-degree driving with a suspended license in September 2009 and again in December 2009.

Pend Oreille County investigators will travel to Kalispell today to question Swancara.

Botzheim confirmed that Swancara’s father was at the home, but he would not say what investigators believe happened prior to the stabbing. Investigators remained at the scene Monday gathering evidence, he said.

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