Maxwell Man Helps Police Catch Double Murder Suspect

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WOODWARD, Iowa -- Maxwell resident, Chris Charron just happened to hear police were searching for Michael Wanchanic as he was leaving to volunteer at Woodward Academy.

"We had our first basketball game that evening." Charron, who broadcasts the games online for Woodward Academy, heard the license plate numbers police believed were on Wanchanic's vehicle. "I had the radio on and heard the description and for some reason the numbers stuck with me."

At the time, police believed Wanchanic was a person of interest in a double homicide. On Monday, police found the bodies of 36-year-old Bryon Howard and 31-year-old Heather Belieu dead inside a home at the 3900 block of Center Street.

While driving towards Woodward, Charron found himself behind a vehicle that kept stalling along Highway 230, "I didn't have to slam on my brakes but his rear end of the car was literally in front of my face and that's when I saw the plates." said Charron.

That's when he realized he was behind that same vehicle description of a beige Dodge Grand Caravan that police believed Michael Wanchanic was driving. Charron said, "I don't remember saying the letters, I just saw it and picked up the phone. I was shaking and said SIRI, call 911. Just as we were leaving town he suddenly pulled into Casey's and I kept driving straight."

Dallas County dispatch sent Woodward police to that Casey's where Wanchanic led them on a chase and a four hour standoff along Highway 141 where he eventually surrendered peacefully.

Sergeant Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department said officers interviewed Wanchanic once he arrived to Des Moines. He said, "At the conclusion of the interview they felt they had enough for probable cause to file him appropriately with murder in the first."

While he undoubtedly helped police catch their suspect, Charron refuses to take credit for it.

"For that Woodward cop to jump out and do what he did and he knew the guy was armed, those guys run towards the trouble when the rest of us run away. I just kept seeing the video of the kids being carried out and I think about the family and what they're going through."

Michael Wanchanic is scheduled to appear in court at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday.