Authorities hold suspect in 8 slayings in Mo., Ill.

Police and FBI agents captured an ex-convict suspected of killing eight people in two states, taking him into custody as he smoked a cigarette outside a southwestern Illinois bar Tuesday night.

Nicholas Sheley, who was the subject of a multistate manhunt after authorities linked him to the deaths of eight people in Illinois and Missouri, was arrested around 7 p.m. outside of Bindy's, a Granite City bar, said bartender Katie Ronk.

Sheley ordered a glass of water and went to the bathroom before another bartender and customer recognized him, Ronk said. They notified police, who arrived minutes later with FBI agents. FBI spokeswoman Kelly Brennan confirmed Sheley, 28, was caught in Granite City, about 10 miles north of St. Louis. She didn't elaborate on the arrest.

Tim Lewis, the police chief in the St. Louis suburb of Festus, Mo., said publicity from news reports paid off after 6p.m. when a number of Granite City residents reported seeing Sheley.

“He was desperate and he gave up without a fight,” Lewis said.

“He looks rough. He's had a rough two days,” he said.

A spokeswoman with the Granite City police department said Sheley was in custody there.

The FBI on Tuesday launched a manhunt for Sheley, who they warned should be considered armed and dangerous. Among those authorities believe Sheley killed were a 93-year-old man, a child and a couple whose blood-soaked dogs were found roaming a motel parking lot.

Sheley has only been charged in the death of one of the eight. He faces charges of first-degree murder, aggravated battery and vehicular hijacking in the death of Ronald Randall, whose body was found Monday behind a grocery store in Galesburg, in northwestern Illinois, police said. An autopsy showed the 65-year-old died from blunt force trauma to the head, likely on Saturday.

Investigators said the other victims all appeared to have died in the same manner and that evidence linked to Sheley was recovered at each scene.