HERCULES -- A married couple's bold crime spree -- spanning months and hundreds of miles -- ended Wednesday when the couple was found in a car stolen from a Hercules home the night a retired schoolteacher was stabbed to death, authorities said.

The spree began with the husband's August jailbreak in Southern California, escalated with the alleged daytime attempted murder of a sheriff's deputy and ended in arrests after a violent police pursuit in a Seattle suburb.

Late Wednesday, the couple, identified as Darnell Keith Washington, 24, and Tania Washington, 25, had not been arrested in connection with the death of Hercules resident Susie Ko but were being held on a number of other charges.

"Hopefully this brings us a step closer," said Willie Chan, the nephew of Ko, the 55-year-old found dead by neighbors on Friday. "Presumably the (people) in the car committed the crime or know the people who did. It gives the family relief. We just haven't been able to sleep too much."

Hercules police have not yet said if the two people are suspects in the homicide. Detectives from Hercules and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's homicide bureau were on their way to question the couple in SeaTac in King County, Wash., on Wednesday, where they are in custody.

The Ko family's blue 2011 Subaru Outback had been the focus of an extensive search since the Friday stabbing in the home on Ash Court.


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About 9 a.m. Wednesday, a police officer in SeaTac spotted the car, ran the license plate and attempted to stop the car when it came back as stolen, according to police. Instead, Tamia Washington, allegedly rammed the officer's car and took off, prompting a police pursuit. Tania Washington jumped into the back seat when officers boxed in the car and her husband took the wheel, ramming patrol cars several more times, but could not escape, police said.

The pair were arrested at gunpoint.

Photos from the King County Sheriff's Department show that the couple had replaced the car's Idaho license plate with Washington state plates.

The arrests bring to a close a search that began Aug. 28, when Darnell Washington escaped from jail in a rural part of San Bernardino, reportedly with help from his wife. He was in custody for robbery and receiving stolen property and scheduled to appear in court Sept. 14.

The Washingtons then headed north, police said. On the morning of Sept. 2, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputy was approaching a suspicious car in the city of South El Monte when Darnell Washington allegedly emerged from the back of the car. A gunbattle ensued, and the deputy received a shotgun wound, but survived, authorities said.

A shotgun was found in the Subaru on Wednesday, although it was unclear if it was the same weapon used in the deputy's shooting.

The couple's escape in South El Monte included two carjackings, according to police. Authorities are investigating if the pair committed other carjackings and robberies as they traveled north through California, Oregon and Washington.

Susie Ko's husband, Kelvin Ko, 60, called neighbors on Friday night to check on his wife after she did not pick him up from Oakland International Airport. Neighbors found her on the floor of home in what appeared to be a pool of blood.

Susie Ko was alone in the home. Her husband commuted between the couple's Hercules home and a home in Idaho, where he works.

The mother of four adult children taught for nearly a decade at St. Patrick School in Rodeo where her children also attended.

Contact David DeBolt at 925-943-8048. Contact Daniel M. Jimenez at 510-262-2728. Follow them at Twitter.com/daviddebolt and Twitter.com/DMJreports.