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UPI Focus: Mich. murder suspect caught in NY

BUFFALO, N.Y., Oct. 15 -- A Michigan man suspected of rape and murder, and sought for the disappearance of a little girl, is jailed in suburban Buffalo after being arrested for alleged Social Security fraud. Federal agents say 43-year-old Marvin Gabrion Jr. fled Michigan a month before his rape trial was to begin, and after the alleged rape victim was found at the bottom of a West Michigan lake.

State Police in Newaygo, Mich., say today they also want to question Gabrion about the disappearance of the dead woman's 1-year-old daughter, Shannon Verhage. Some theorize the girl was sold on a black market for babies, but police say they have no clear evidence to back the theory. Last summer the body of the girl's mother, Rachel Timmerman, was found chained to cinder blocks in a lake, her mouth and eyes taped shut. Authorities say she was alive when she was dumped in the water. Gabrion is also a suspect in the disappearance of two men -- Wayne Davis and John Weeks. They were scheduled to testify at his rape trial, apparently for having witnessed the attack on Timmermann. Gabrion, of White Cloud, Mich., was arrested at the Sherman, N.Y., Post Office, where federal agents say he was allegedly using a drop box and an alias to commit Social Security fraud. He's being held in the Erie County Holding Center in Buffalo, and could be returned to Newaygo County, Mich., in about two weeks for questioning and additional charges. ---

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