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Matthew Dion charged with 2 counts of murder in parents' death

'Most wanted' held on no bond, requests return to New Hampshire

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. – A Clay County judge ordered one of the U.S. Marshal's Office most wanted to be held on no bond during a first appearance in court Thursday morning.

Federal agents captured Matthew Dion at a hotel in Orange Park on Wednesday morning.

At his first appearance Thursday, Dion was officially charged with two counts of second-degree murder, one count of arson and being a fugitive of justice. The 39-year-old waived extradition and told the judge, "I wish to go back to New Hampshire."

As of Thursday afternoon, Dion was on his way back to New Hampshire.

Officials said that they had been chasing Dion since March 2014, charging him with murder, when the bodies of his adoptive parents, Robert and Constance Dion, were found at their Manchester home, strangled with a wire.

According to officials, Matthew Dion also allegedly set his parents' home on fire, causing an explosion.

"The parents were very elderly, retired. Your average grandmother, grandfather. The fact that they were murdered in their house and left for multiple days in the house prior to Mr. Dion allegedly setting fire to the house, in which a house explosion left a very large mess to say the least," U.S. Marshal Jeffery White said.  

Constance and Robert Dion
Constance and Robert Dion

White said Wednesday that Dion was captured just after 10 a.m. at the Astoria Hotel, the same hotel where Navy commander Alphonso Doss was killed.  

"He came in contact with law enforcement, surrendered and pretty much said, "You got me," U.S. Marshal Supervisory Deputy, Penelope Knox said.

Federal agents got a search warrant and have been at the Astoria Hotel all day Wednesday, searching Dion's room and collecting evidence.

Dion had been on the run for over a month and was staying with a painting contractor, helping him paint part of the hotel. The painter had no idea Dion was wanted and was upset and angry when he found out. 

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People at the hotel knew Dion as "Cameron," one of the aliases officials said he used, but a housekeeper saw his picture on the news Tuesday night and recognized a horizontal scar across Dion's head.  

"Based on that media push yesterday, we received several tips that pointed to a small hotel in Orange Park, Florida, where he was arrested this morning," White said. "They recognized him, they recognized some of his physical features and some of the stories that he was telling having lived in New Hampshire, that stuck out to them."

Hotel employees and the property manager had gotten to know Dion and said he was a nice guy, not knowing he was wanted in such a gruesome case.

"This morning, my employees came in and said, 'Hey we saw this guy on TV last night that looks like this guy Cameron who is walking around here.' So we all waited for him to come in for coffee, we saw him, and yeah, it was him. So they called the 800 number, and here we are," Astoria Hotel property manager Harry Mangini said. 

Dion was charged with second-degree murder and arson in September. His name was added to the U.S. Marshals Service's 15 Most Wanted List in April. Reports said that Dion was also charged with possession of child pornography.

In addition to Cameron Rowell, Dion's other alias was Jacob Smith, and U.S. Marshals said he had ties to Florida and Georgia and had a girlfriend in the Orange Park area.

The judge scheduled Dion's next court appearance for July 1 at 9 a.m. but believed he could be taken back to New Hampshire on Thursday.