Suspects in Royal Oak killing preyed on others, officials say

By L.L. Brasier

Detroit Free Press


Nov. 30–Two parole absconders suspected of slitting an elderly Royal Oak woman’s throat were preying on other residents in the city before the killing, police and prosecutors say.

Nancy Dailey, 80, was found dead in her Royal Oak home Nov. 20. Two days later, police arrested Alan Wood, 48, and Tonia Watson, 40, homeless parole absconders who authorities say had been wandering Royal Oak neighborhoods, portraying themselves as workers.

Wood and Watson are expected to be arraigned within days in Dailey’s death, Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper said.

On Sunday, Watson was arraigned on stolen credit card charges, stemming from an earlier incident involving two Royal Oak women who said they hired Wood to do handiwork at their home. Wood has not yet been charged in that case, police said.

The women, ages 51 and 52, said they were persuaded by Wood’s seemingly charming manner and sincerity. They employed him for several weeks, and soon he was doing work inside the house. They said they met Watson, as well.

On Oct. 12, the women discovered that their credit cards, money and other items had been stolen. American Express tracked the cards to a Meijer in Auburn Hills, where the women viewed surveillance video.

The women, who asked not to be identified for fear of being victimized again, told the Free Press they identified Wood and Watson using their stolen credit cards.

Five weeks later, Dailey — who lived alone — was found dead in an apparent robbery, her hands tied behind her back and her throat slit. Items from her home were stolen.

Wood and Watson were arrested Nov. 22 at a Meijer in Canton. They remain in jail. Cooper said prosecutors are awaiting additional reports before charging them in the homicide.

Royal Oak residents in Dailey’s neighborhood are planning a candlelight service at 6 p.m. Sunday outside her house.


Posted by Tribune News Services

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