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Former N.C. inmate suspected in two California deaths

Posted July 2, 2010

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— A former North Carolina prison inmate was arrested Thursday near San Diego on sex charges, and police there said he is a person of interest in the deaths of his wife and mother-in-law.

Michael Eugene Richardson, 57, was convicted in 1977 of armed robbery in Cumberland County. Five years later, he escaped from Avery-Mitchell Correctional Facility. He was recaptured and returned to prison, and he was paroled in June 2001.

Police in Chula Vista, Calif., charged Richardson with suspicion of statutory rape. Investigators also are trying to determine if he played a role in the deaths of his wife and mother-in-law, whose bodies were found Tuesday near an overturned car at the bottom of an embankment.

Police said they believe the accident scene was staged.

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