The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office on Monday identified the victim of a weekend homicide in Santa Ynez as Terry Wilson, 72, of Santa Ynez.
Public information officer Raquel Zick says deputies first responded to the scene at 3:57 a.m. Saturday.
"When they arrived, they found an adult male victim and learned that the suspect had fled prior to the deputies' arrival," Zick said.
She says the suspect, identified as Rylen Quinn Svane-Morris, 26, of Lancaster, may also be connected to the reported theft of a 2014 Chrysler minivan that was stolen from a house on Jason Way in Santa Ynez this past Saturday.
"We believe that he is associated with that vehicle because it was stolen from a residence in the area where the murder occurred, in a close time proximity," she added.
Meanwhile, Jill Swabash says she lives just a short walk away from where the murder took place. She says she and her neighbors have been on heightened alert since they heard about what happened.
"This is a really peaceful community," Swabash said. "It is very rare for something like to have taken place."
The Sheriff's Office says Svane-Morris was recently booked into the Santa Barbara County Main Jail, but was released prior to Saturday's incident. They could not specify the charges surrounding the suspect's arrest, nor clarify when he was released.
"Apparently, some of the neighbors that had been closer by, their doors had been knocked on at 4 o'clock in the morning by the sheriffs to ask if they had heard anything," Swabash recalled.
Zick says the suspect had a prior relationship with the victim.
"The suspect was in a former dating relationship with the victim's daughter," Zick stated.
As of Monday afternoon, Svane-Morris or the stolen vehicle had not been located.
"I just hope they catch this guy and we can put this to rest," Swabash said.
People in the community are being asked to call 9-1-1 with any information about the ongoing investigation.
Due to the severity of the crime, Svane-Morris is also considered dangerous.
The Sheriff's Office will continue providing updates on the investigation as they become available.