A man wanted in Missouri for the deaths of four people was located in Dakota Dunes Wednesday, Sept. 8 in a hotel parking lot.
The call came into the Union County Sheriff’s Office from the U.S. Marshall’s around 9:30 p.m. stating that J. T. McLean, 45, was wanted out of Boone and Miller counties in Missouri in connection with four murders. McLean was suspected to be in a vehicle owned by one of the victims and heading to Dakota Dunes where he had family in the area.
The family was contacted and moved from their residence to a safer location.
ON STAR assisted law enforcement by locating the vehicle in a hotel parking lot in Dakota Dunes.
The Union County Sheriff’s Office, along with multiple agencies, located McLean in the vehicle. They used non-lethal means to break out the window and attempt to make contact with McLean. They received no response, resulting in the sheriff’s department deploying a drone over the vehicle. McLean was found dead from a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
“We believe he was alive when we got there and surrounded the vehicle,” Sheriff Dan Limoges said. “It’s believed that after we broke out the window is when he shot himself.”
Other agencies that assisted the Sheriff’s Department were U.S. Marshall – Sioux City, South Dakota Department of Criminal Investigation, South Dakota Highway Patrol, Sioux City Police Department and North Sioux City Police Department.
Boone County authorities charged McLean with murder in the Aug. 22 deaths of 43-year-old Allison Abitz and her 11-year-old daughter in their home south of Columbia. According to the Miller County Sheriff’s Office, he is also believed to be connected to the deaths of a couple at their home in Kaiser. A well-being check by deputies led to the discovery of the bodies of Daniel Stephan, 74 and Pamela Stephan, 64.
Autopsies for the Stephans were scheduled for Monday, Sept. 13 in Columbia, but results of those autopsies may not be available for several weeks, per the Miller County Sheriff’s Office.