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Manhunt under way for Calif. man suspected of killing family

By Laila Kearney

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A manhunt was under way in Northern California for a father suspected of shooting his wife and two young children to death at their farmhouse, authorities said on Thursday.

Sean Franklin Miller is suspected of shooting his 34-year-old wife Sandy, and daughters Shelby, 8, and Shasta, 4, at their secluded Shingletown home on Tuesday, before fleeing in his truck, the Shasta County Sheriff's office said.

Miller, 45, may have had access to a cache of weapons and is presumed to be armed and dangerous, said Shasta County Sheriff's Lieutenant Dave Kent.

Sheriff's deputies received calls on Wednesday reporting sightings of Miller in Petrolia, California, a small community in Humboldt County, 260 miles north of San Francisco.

Authorities discovered a gold pickup truck believed to be Miller's near the sprawling forests around Petrolia, triggering a manhunt involving several law enforcement agencies.

Miller, who is from Humboldt County, trying to hide out in remote cabins in the area, many of which are left vacant at this time of year, Humboldt County Lieutenant Wayne Hanson said.

"It's an extremely dangerous situation for our officers," Hanson said. "Because of the crime he committed, his mental makeup is considered very unstable right now."

(Editing by Tim Gaynor and Doina Chiacu)

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