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Published August 06, 2010, 12:38 PM

Murder suspect whose car was found in Fargo arrested in Wyoming

An Illinois murder suspect whose car was found abandoned in Fargo earlier this spring was arrested Thursday evening at a homeless shelter in Jackson, Wyo. Eric A. Gilford was seated at a table eating cake when plainclothes detectives found him, Lt. Robert Gilliam of the Jackson Police Department said Friday.

By: Dave Olson, INFORUM

An Illinois murder suspect whose car was found abandoned in Fargo earlier this spring was arrested Thursday evening at a homeless shelter in Jackson, Wyo.

Eric A. Gilford was seated at a table eating cake when plainclothes detectives found him, Lt. Robert Gilliam of the Jackson Police Department said Friday.

Gilliam said Gilford’s arrest was a collaborative effort by his department, the Teton County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Marshals Service.

Gilford, 31, is wanted by authorities in Villa Park, Ill., where he faces murder charges in the stabbing death of his wife, Kristine, in late May.

Gilford, an active-duty U.S. sailor, also faces charges of intentional homicide of an unborn child.

Authorities were unable to determine how much time Gilford spent in Fargo or how he left town after apparently abandoning a car in a Fargo parking lot the day after his wife was killed, Fargo Police Lt. Pat Claus said Friday.

Claus said it is possible Gilford jumped a railroad freight car shortly after arriving in town.

“We never found any stolen vehicles or anything like that that we linked to him,” Claus said.

The car Gilford had been driving and which was found in Fargo was shipped to Illinois authorities shortly after it was discovered, Claus said.

Gilliam said the Marshals Service developed the information that led authorities to the homeless shelter on Thursday.

He said it is believed Gilford had been staying at the shelter for about a week.

It is unknown whether Gilford had any connections to Jackson, Gilliam said.

He said Gilford “offered absolutely no resistance” when approached by detectives.

Before authorities entered the shelter, they set up a perimeter around the building; Gilford was presumed to be armed and dangerous, Gilliam said.

“We sent plainclothes detectives into the shelter to search for Mr. Gilford, and the detectives found Mr. Gilford seated at a table eating a piece of cake. It was dinner time,” Gilliam said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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