WILLIAMSPORT, PA - After a week-long manhunt for the killer of Judge Andrew Wilkinson of Maryland, police reported that the suspect has been found dead.
Pedro Argote, 49, was located in a wooded area near Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The Washington County Police revealed that the suspect was discovered in a woody area and was deceased.
Police focused on this area after his SUV was discovered last weekend, and the search for the suspect had primarily been convened in this area.
"The deceased was located in a heavily wooded area between Clear Spring Road and Bottom Road approximately one mile northwest of where the suspect vehicle was found." authorities said in a statement.
Argote had been the prime suspect after Judge Wilkinson was discovered dead in the driveway of his home. Judge Wilkinson was a circuit court judge in Washington County.
Mr Argote was involved in a divorce case over which Judge Wilkinson presided. The suspects four children had been given over to his wife and taken out of his custody.
The judge was shot and killed on October 19th around 8:00 p.m.; the divorce case had taken place less than three days prior to the shooting.
It is believed that Argote, who has a history of domestic violence, shot Wilkinson a number of times, leaving his body in the driveway. Wilkinson's family was inside the house at the time.
The judge died of his injuries after being rushed to Meritus Medical Center.
Washington County Sheriff Brian Albert called the attack on Judge Wilkinson a targeted attack. It is believed that the suspect had focused on a vengeful reprisal for the judges decision in the divorce case.
The suspect had not been in the hearing where the judge decided that his wife would have custody of the four children and denied him any visitation.
Judge Wilkinson stated in the court case that Argote had a pension towards cruelty in his relationship with his wife. Argote's wife, Eugenia, had told the judge that her husband stole money from her. She had also placed a restraining order against him before this trial because he had a firearm that was constantly with him.
It is not known how the suspect was able to locate the judge's place of residence; that's still being investigated.
Sheriff Albert went on to say in the news conference, "The Washington County Community can breathe a little easier this afternoon. It's a relief but still a tragedy that we're dealing with."
Various law enforcement agencies intensified security for many Washington County judges and the Maryland area as a result of this tragedy.
Judge Wilkinson's wife, Stephanie, wishes to thank all those who had put in so much time in the investigation and to those who offered condolences to the family.