A 28-year-old San Jose man was arrested on suspicion of homicide in Sunday’s stabbing death of a Paso Robles resident, according to the Paso Robles Police Department.
John Frederick Woody was arrested Monday after a police investigation into the homicide of 46-year-old Martin McWilliams at Paso Robles Laundromat in the 2800 block of Spring Street about 7 p.m. Sunday.
Woody was arrested after Paso Robles police received a report that Atascadero officers had detained a man matching the suspect’s description. He had been acting suspiciously in a bank on the 7300 block of El Camino Real in Atascadero.
Paso Robles police said investigators had probable cause to arrest Woody.
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Police Chief Lisa Solomon said Woody and McWilliams didn’t seem to know each other before the alleged incident and that detectives are trying to determine a motive for the attack.
Solomon also said police are searching for the weapon used in the stabbing and bloody clothing — which she believes may have been discarded somewhere in the North County.
“We’re asking for the public’s help to recover the weapon and (Woody’s) clothing,” Solomon said. “Anybody with knowledge of these items or the incident should call police.”
Solomon said police immediately alerted local law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for Woody — who was described by witnesses who saw him flee the scene and drive away in a white truck.
Woody — who Solomon said may be a transient who splits his time between San Jose and the North County — was reported to be acting strangely at the bank about 9:40 a.m. Monday.
In Paso Robles, the small, one-room laundromat with a “Grand Opening” sign on its side had two large bloodstains where drivers enter the business. Some passersby stopped to observe the two dark-red blots Monday.
Woody and McWilliams are believed to have been the only people in the laundromat when the stabbing occurred, Solomon said.
Multiple surveillance cameras on the inside and outside of the business may provide police footage helpful to the investigation.
Solomon said investigators asked business owners in the area for their surveillance tapes — including those from the laundromat.
A business owner said she became aware of the incident while she was working at her store near the laundromat Sunday night.
Kun Byon, the owner of neighboring Appy’s Liquor, said a man came in her store asking for her phone to call 911 to report the stabbing.
“He came here and said to call 911 because something happened down there, so we gave him the phone and he called,” said Byon, who was in the store with her son. “Police later asked for our surveillance tapes that point outside.”