William Myears was transported back to Brainerd Thursday and it is expected he will be arraigned Friday on two counts of second-degree murder for the death of Erika Dalquist.
Myears was arrested at a traveling carnival in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham, Mich., Saturday about an hour after he was profiled on the television show "America's Most Wanted." A woman who had been at the carnival and had later watched the television show recognized Myears by one of his tattoos.
Myears waived extradition in a Michigan courtroom Tuesday, clearing the way for the 25-year-old Brainerd native to be returned to Crow Wing County.
Law enforcement officials, including Crow Wing County Sheriff's Deputy Steve Merriman, who is the county's transport officer, left on a State Patrol aircraft early Thursday morning to fly to Pontiac, Mich., where Myears was being held in the Oakland County Jail.
About 3:30 p.m. the airplane landed at Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, and Myears, handcuffed and wearing street clothes, was escorted into a Crow Wing County sheriff's squad car. He was then transported to the Crow Wing County Jail to be booked.
Crow Wing County Sheriff Eric Klang said the details of Myears' return to Brainerd weren't released to the public because officials didn't want people showing up at the airport.
"We were a little concerned and we wanted to make sure we were being safe for everybody," Klang said.
One person who is content to have Myears back in Brainerd is Pete Peveto, a Brainerd resident who for the past seven years said he has been Myears' friend. He said he is hoping for the chance to be able to talk to Myears.
"I want to extend him a heartfelt hug, whatever he would allow," said Peveto. "I felt in my heart I wanted to reach out to the guy, to say there are people out there who aren't your family but that are here for you."
Peveto, who contacted the Dispatch, said he doesn't want to think about whether Myears is guilty of Dalquist's murder. He also said he wouldn't comment out of respect to the Dalquist family. But he said when he found out what Myears was charged with, he was shocked and scared. And seeing the news media pictures of Myears in the Michigan courtroom, he said he believes his friend is scared too.
"I see in his eyes he is really grieved over what transpired. I can see it and being a friend of his I can feel it," Peveto said. "I'm just so grieved over the whole situation."
Peveto said Myears adored his children, and the two would often stand in each other's yards and talk about their kids. He said he had witnessed Myears get angry before, but never physically hurting anyone.
"As for going to that extreme or showing that type of anger, no," said Peveto of the violence with which Myears is accused.
Myears has been the prime suspect in 21-year-old Dalquist's murder since she disappeared from downtown Brainerd on Oct. 30, 2002. In January 2003, he was charged with second-degree manslaughter in connection with her disappearance but those charges were dropped when authorities were unable to find Dalquist.
After 18 months of searches by both law enforcement and the Dalquist family, her remains were found May 15 in a shallow grave on property owned by Myears' grandparents.
MATT ERICKSON can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5857.
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