Neighbor Sought in Triple Death Arrested in FloridaAP , Associated Press
Oct. 21, 1990 6:06 PM ET
HILLTOWN, PA. HILLTOWN, Pa. (AP) _ The neighbor of a family found hacked to death in their beds was in custody in Florida while officials worked to bring him home to face charges, a prosecutor said Sunday.
Eric Robert Motis, 19, was arrested late Saturday night in Miami Beach while driving a car belonging to Louise C. Hoopes, 42. She was killed with her sons Douglas, 16, and Daniel, 14, as they slept last Monday, said Bucks County District Attorney Alan Rubenstein.
The county coroner said they were stabbed and slashed in the head and neck with a sharp instrument.
After the bodies were found Monday, Rubenstein described the victims as members of a classic suburban household who appeared to have no enemies. Mrs. Hoopes' husband, Howard, died two years ago from cancer.
The killer made an effort to be undetected and went in and out of the darkened house without making noise or damaging anything, he said.
Motis had lived across the street from the Hoopes' home with his parents and grandparents. After the killings, police said they wanted to question Motis.
Rubenstein said at a news conference that Motis was charged in a warrant with three counts of first-degree murder, burglary, robbery and related offenses. Bucks County authorities have requested his extradition from Florida ''as soon as possible,'' Rubenstein said.
Rubenstein said he obtained information that Motis might be in Miami Beach and sent agents from his office, along with state and local police, to help track him down.
Mrs. Hoopes was a part-time secretary at Grand View Hospital in nearby Sellersville.
Manny Motis, 47, told authorities last week that his son, Eric, had played pool with Douglas Hoopes. He described the family as ''the nicest people you'd ever want to meet.''
In August, the elder Motis reported to Hilltown police that his son had left home, taking with him two handguns and a truck that belonged to the father. Eric Motis was arrested Sept. 4 in Montgomery County and held in the county prison until Sept. 12, when he was released to Bucks County authorities.
Hilltown police arrested him Sept. 17 on charges of attempted theft of gasoline, theft of two handguns and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. His father posted $5,000 bail for him and an Oct. 1 preliminary hearing was set. Eric Motis failed to appear for the preliminary hearing.