Former Major League Baseball pitcher Danny Serafini, 49, and an accomplice, Samantha Scott, 33, were taken into custody separately in Nevada for allegedly shooting Serafini’s father-in-law and mother-in-law inside their Tahoe home two years ago.
The shootings were a notorious unsolved mystery in the region for years. On June 5, 2021, police responded to a North Lake Tahoe residence where they found Robert Gary Spohr, 70, had died from a single gunshot wound, and although his wife, Wendy Wood, 68, recovered from her wounds, she died by suicide a year later, as the Chronicle reported. One of their children blamed Wood’s death on Sphor’s murder, telling the Chronicle in July, “she couldn’t handle it, the loss.”
The only publicly known clues reported were surveillance video that showed a hooded man wearing a face covering and a backpack entering the house, and waiting for five hours until the couple returned.
Now, police say they believe the identity of the man to be Serafini, the husband of one of the couple’s daughters, Erin Spohr. Serafini, who regularly lives in Reno, was found and arrested in a small Nevada town more than 150 miles away called Winnemucca at 5:45 a.m. Friday, according to KGO. (In early 2022, the couple’s other daughter Adrienne Spohr also offered a $150,000 reward for information that helped capture the alleged shooter, per KCRA.)
Around the same time, federal authorities reportedly arrested Scott in Las Vegas.
The motive isn’t fully clear at this time, but Placer County sheriff’s authorities conducting the two-year investigation said that “both suspects are known to each other and to the victims.”
The Chronicle reported that sources said detectives had suspicions about Serafini’s business debts, which at one point totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars, connected to the attack. Serafini, after his decade-plus MLB career, which included stints with the Minnesota Twins, the Chicago Cubs, and San Diego Padres, reportedly opened a bar in Sparks, Nevade, near Reno. Originally hailing from San Mateo, Serafini had even played on the San Francisco Giants’ minor league team in 2000, before failing a drug test that ended his athletic career. His bar was called the Bullpen Bar, and was apparently popular and even featured in Jon Taffer’s “Bar Rescue” TV show in 2015, but later closed.
Serafini’s accomplice, Scott, also knew the couple, possibly as a nanny for the family, as CNN reported.
According to authorities, the sheriff’s office is now awaiting Serafini’s and Scott’s extradition from Nevada into Placer County.
Feature image via Placer County Sheriff's Office on Facebook.