Multistate Manhunt for Bucks County Child Rape Suspect Ends in Delaware County

David Hamilton Jr., a suspected child predator, was captured in Aston, Pennsylvania, by U.S. Marshals

What to Know

  • Sex assault suspect David Hamilton Jr. led police and U.S. Marshals on a multistate, weeklong manhunt.
  • Marshals captured Hamilton in Aston, Pennsylvania, Friday morning.
  • Hamilton is wanted on a warrant out of Lower Southampton Township for allegedly carrying out multiple sexual offenses against children.

A more than weeklong, three-state manhunt for a dangerous child rape suspect ended Friday with his capture in the Philadelphia suburbs.

U.S. Marshals captured David Hamilton Jr. around 10:15 a.m. after receiving a tip that Hamilton was in a home on Roberts Road in Aston, Delaware County, marshals said.

Marshals and Aston police found Hamilton hiding in a second-floor bedroom closet of the home that belongs to a family member and arrested him without incident. Hamilton was alone in the house, Aston police said.

"This sexual predator placed the community in significant danger," Marshals Supervisory Deputy Robert Clark said. "We are extremely glad we were able to bring Mr. Hamilton in custody without incident and in a timely manner."

Lower Southampton Police picked up Hamilton in Aston Friday afternoon. 

As Hamilton was walked to a waiting police car, he said he "would never" sexually assault children and said he ran because he feels that suspects are presumed guilty until proven innocent in many of today's cases. 

"I hope there is a good lawyer out there who could help me," Hamilton said.

As David Hamilton Jr. was transferred to a waiting police vehicle in Aston, Delaware County, to face child sex assault charges in Bucks County, he denied raping any children and asked for an attorney to come to his defense.

The 47-year-old had led police and U.S. Marshals on a weeklong manhunt from the New Hope, Pennsylvania, area to Bear, Delaware, to Aston, after initially trying to arrest him after child rape charges were filed on Sept. 19. Along the way, Hamilton assaulted a New Hope police officer, stole a car and was spotted in the woods, police said.

Some schools in the Aston area were briefly put on lockdown Friday morning out of caution as police took Hamilton into custody, the Penn-Delco School District said. Sun Valley High School and Northley Middle School were dismissed early as planned midday Friday.

A $1,000 reward was offered for information leading to Hamilton's arrest. It was unclear if someone could claim that reward.

Hamilton is wanted on a warrant out of Lower Southampton Township for allegedly carrying out multiple sexual offenses against kids, police said.

Police found Hamilton's 2016 Toyota Corolla in Morrisville and he was spotted riding a bike across the Calhoun Street bridge into Trenton, New Jersey, last Friday morning.

Then, last Friday afternoon, a hunter saw Hamilton walking through the woods in the New Hope area. Officers responded and attempted to capture him, but police say he attacked a New Hope officer and tried to steal his gun. Hamilton was able to get away. 

Police set up a 40-acre search area on the ground and New Jersey State Police scrambled a helicopter to assist from the air but Hamilton remained on the run for another week, allegedly getting help along the way.

A woman, Meredith Custodio, is accused of hindering the apprehension of Hamilton by hiding him in a New Hope home where she worked as the caretaker for an elderly woman, Solebury Township and Lower Southampton police and U.S. Marshals announced Wednesday.

Custodio, who hails from Philadelphia, was arraigned Wednesday and sent to county jail unable to post 10 percent of $150,000 bail. It is unclear if she has an attorney who could comment on her behalf. She is charged with hindering apprehension and theft by unlawful taking.

Harry How/Getty Images
Meredith Custodio, David Hamilton. See larger photo. 
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