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Suspect at Large After Killing Rampage in Sacramento

Aired August 20, 2001 - 15:40   ET


JOIE CHEN, CNN ANCHOR: We're bringing you back to breaking news here on CNN. Late developments rampage in Sacramento area. Already there are four deaths being reported. These are live pictures we're getting from our affiliate KCRA in Sacramento. One of the crime scene locations that police are looking at right now.

Let's tell you what we know at this point. Authorities out in Sacramento are saying that a neighbor called police about 10:00 this morning. When police arrived they found one woman dead. They moved on to a second location, apparently where relatives of this woman live, and there they found two elderly people, a man and woman, killed, as well as a baby boy. They found a 7-year-old girl who they say is now in critical condition at a hospital. And as well, they are hot on the search of a 2-year-old who is missing.

Now, they do believe they know the suspect at this point. They say that he is a 27-year-old man. They identified him as Nikolay Soltys. That's information coming from the Sacramento sheriff's department out there. They identified this man, a 27-year-old man who they is the husband of the victim in the first location. And they are looking for him right now. They do have identified his silver Nissan Altima as a vehicle that was seen at both locations, and so that is why their investigation particularly points to him at this point.

Again, they are continuing their search for him. They do warn people in the community not to approach this person because of concerns that this person might be dangerous at this point. And so they have asked that people not try to approach him but rather contact local police authorities immediately and try to help them locate this individual.

Again, a 27-year-old person who is at large a man, Nikolay Soltys. Apparently related, probably the husband, according to police, of the victim in the first location. And then that person is in some way related to the victims at the location, two elderly people and a baby boy killed there, as well as a 7-year-old girl who they say is in critical condition.

Another factor that is hampering the investigation right now, this apparently a community that has a great number of Russian immigrants in it, according to what we were hearing from the local news media. And they say that language is a bit of a problem right now. Some communication difficulty that investigators are having in trying to work on this case. Again, Russian immigrants living in this community. They're not sure that the individuals involved were all Russian, but they do say that language and communication is something of a difficulty for them right now.

Again, some of the local investigators working on this area -- apparently two residential areas of Sacramento. And these pictures, again, are coming to us from our affiliate KCRA, watching the scene as investigators move through it. Not entirely sure what we're looking at here exactly, but it does appear that there are a number of people talking among the investigators there. They have roped off this area around one of the houses, in any case, as they continue the investigation.

And they were not clear about where the suspect -- in this case, 27-year-old Nikolay Soltys, they have identified him as -- had gone to after the point of the killings. They do know already that four people in these two separate locations have been killed and again, a 7-year-old girl is clinging to life in critical condition at a hospital. As well, a 2-year-old who is missing, a 2-year-old boy who is missing. And of course, investigators are very concerned about that.

Let's listen now to an interview done just a few minutes ago by a local reporter for KCRA TV. Let's listen to what the sheriff's department had to say to him.


UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Standing by with me is Sergeant Jamie Lewis, Sacramento Sheriff's Department, who can give us details. What you have found at this scene?

SERGEANT JAMIE LEWIS, SACRAMENTO SHERIFF'S DEP'T: Well, here we have two victims inside the house, two elderly victims, a male and a female. We also have an infant, appears to be a male infant, on the front porch of the address -- or of the house here. We have transported a 7-year-old female to the UC Davis Medical Center. She is in critical condition. We also, I just learned, are in the process of looking for a 2-year that's still outstanding.

We are trying to account for all the family members that have been involved here. And we're still missing a 2-year-old.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: So these appear to be members of the same family and you do have a suspect, or at least someone you want to speak with at this point?

LEWIS: Absolutely. We're looking for a 27-year-old man who is -- we believe is the husband of the first victim in North Highlands.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Let's go ahead and show that picture and we'll get a shot of that. What do you know about this person?

LEWIS: Well, he's 27-year-old Nikolay Soltys. He is the outstanding member. He was seen in a Nissan Altima, silver Nissan Altima. He was seen in both locations, both in North Highlands here and here in Ranch Cordova. He is considered the suspect at this time. He is considered armed and dangerous. We have not positively identified him as the suspect, but we have enough information to suggest that he may be dangerous and he may be the one responsible for all the deaths.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Do you have any leads yet on his location?

LEWIS: We don't, and that's something we're looking for the public's help in. Certainly if anybody sees him we don't want them to approach him, but we do want to find him as quickly as possible.

Of serious concern too is the fact that now we have just learned there is a 2-year-old still outstanding. So if anybody has any information, we need them to get hold of the sheriff's department as quickly as possible.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Did you have witnesses here at the scene? I know you had a 911 call from here. Did anybody see what happened?

LEWIS: We don't know if they saw what happened specifically. We're still in the process of conduct the canvass. We do have witnesses that saw the car, saw him in the area. So that's something that is linking the two scenes together.

Again, we have a total of four victims dead here. Three here, one at the address in North Highlands, and they're all related family of some sort. Either we believe that his wife is a victim there in North Highlands, and we have family members here that are victims.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: We've got a couple of people coming up who live in the area. There seems to be a number of Russian immigrant families here. Do we know anything about the family?

LEWIS: We do know that they are Russian or something like that. There has been somewhat of a communication gap that we're in the process of trying to work out.

LEWIS: And once again, you're still trying to determine the nature of the trauma that took their lives?

LEWIS: Right. We don't believe that it's gunshot, but we're not sure what it is. So we're not saying stabbing or otherwise until we know for sure.

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: Obviously, you've been near the crime scene. It must be pretty sad, pretty ugly.

LEWIS: It's absolutely tragic. And these are the type of cases that we least like to get involved in, obviously. We want to get this guy off the streets as quickly as possible. We are in the process now of trying to account for all his family members to make sure that we don't have a string of these. He's already gone on a rampage, he's already killed four people, possibly five. We want to eliminate the possibility that we have more victims. UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER: It's a little early to ask but I will, just, finally question, and that is do we know anything about this man's background? Any previous criminal activity?

LEWIS: We know very little about him, quite frankly.



CHEN: All right, that was an interview done less than 15 minutes ago by KCRA Television, our affiliate in Sacramento.

Let's bring you up to date on what we know now. Police were called on a 911 call to a location that's right outside of Sacramento, the two bedroom communities there. First one is called North Highlands. Apparently in a home that police were called to there, they found a woman dead. They are now looking for a man who they describe as her husband. They have named him as 27-year-old Nikolay Soltys, and they say that he is at large driving a silver Nissan Altima.

We want to turn now to another one of our affiliates, that is KXTV, that's reporting on the situation now. Let's listen to what they have to offer.

UNIDENTIFIED KXTV REPORTER: ... is his wife, and they feel that there is a relationship here that these are other family members here. What possible there could be, they are not sure. But again, they do feel that the homicide that happened up in North Highlands area and the triple homicide that happened here in Rancho Cordova area are all connected. They've had some difficulty in getting some of the information because these folks are all (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and there has been a language barrier.

But again, they're concentrating their efforts on finding the suspect, because they believe that he is the man responsible for both of these incidents. There is also a situation that they're looking for a missing 2-year-old. They don't know if it's a male or a female, but apparently there is a missing 2-year-old now. They're not sure if it's a boy or a girl. They're not sure if it's connected -- if that child is connected with the family or possibly a neighbor child. But there is a 2-year-old missing that also adds another wrinkle to this investigation. So there's an intense investigation to try and figure out exactly what's been going on here.

Some of the neighbors that we've been able to speak with say that they were not aware of any problems, any problem situations with this family. But obviously, very tragic situation occurring both here in Rancho Cordova and also in North Highlands. And that's about the extent of our knowledge so far -- Dan?

UNIDENTIFIED KXTV ANCHOR: All right, Mark, thank you very much. One other bit of information we can add to that, the suspect, Nikolay Soltys, was driving a silver Nissan Altima this morning and again, if you have any information regarding his whereabouts, please call police.

Very quickly we want to tell you about the other major story...

CHEN: All right. To our viewers here on CNN, we've been watching coverage from a couple of our affiliates. That was just KXTV, one of our affiliates in the Sacramento area, bringing their viewers up to date. And we want to bring you up to date as well on the situation out there. These are two bedroom communities of Sacramento, California -- a little bit to the west, one a little bit to the north and one pretty much due west. wouldn't to west and little bit north and due west.

These is a little bit of videotape we're taking from a helicopter shot now, from KCRA, one of our other affiliates in the Sacramento area. Here's what police are telling local reporters in that community. What they know is about 10:00 this morning they got a 911 call, went to a woman's home, found her dead. They're looking for a man who they say is her husband, a 27-year-old man named Nikolay Soltys, last seen in a silver Nissan Altima. Then they went to a second location where they believe there are family members of the dead woman living, and at that location they found two elderly individuals, a man and a woman, the sheriff's department say, a baby boy as well. All three of those individuals killed at the second location, also home in the community.

Now we go back to one of our other affiliates, KCRA in Sacramento. There's a late update there. Let's listen.


CHEN: Unfortunately we seem to have lost contact with that reporter at KCRA TV, but again we'll continue to watch both KXTV and KCRA, and continuing to watch the wires as well, for late developments there. Again, the information that Sacramento Sheriff's Department giving the local reporters is that they know now of at least four deaths. A 7-year-old girl in addition, who is in critical condition, and they are very concerned about a 2-year-old they say is missing at this point.

They're searching for a 27-year-old man, possibly of Russian origin. His name is Nikolay Soltys, according to police. He's driving a silver Nissan Altima. They believe that he is the husband of the first woman they found killed. They are continuing to look. They do believe that all the victims are family members related somehow to each other. But again, their primary concern right now is for a 2-year-old child who is missing, as well as this man, the man they believe they need to find right away.

They are very concerned that anyone in the community who sees him not approach this person directly. They say that there's a possibility still that he may be dangerous and they're asking just for the community's help in trying to help them find him. Again, CNN continuing to follow this still-developing story. We'll get you more information as soon as we have it.



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