MALIBU (CBS) — Officials say Michael Kheop, a suspect they said was driving a stolen rental car, drove his vehicle off a Malibu cliff Friday in an escape attempt.
He eluded authorities for more than ten hours after disappearing in heavy brush. According to police, he almost drove off the cliff with his wife in the car.
She managed to flee moments before the car plunged off the side.
Saturday, Meru Kheop spoke with CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Mike Dinow about the bizarre incident. “I started saying ‘Michael get out of the car…we can handle this.’”
Meru says she has no idea what her husband was thinking. “He said, ‘Get out’ and I opened the door and that’s when the car turned.”
She said she had no idea why her husband of 12 years would have considered such a drastic, and potentially deadly, measure.
“I jumped out right when the car was about to go down,” she said.
Mrs. Kheop escaped uninjured. And she doesn’t know how her husband wasn’t seriously injured after falling more than 200 feet. “I don’t know how he made it out.” Or how he escaped capture, “I was with the cops all day long.”
She credits law enforcement with saving her life. “There must have been eight of them that rushed over to pull me off the mountain.”
Mrs. Kheop returned to the couple’s Malibu apartment — about 5 miles from where her husband was last seen — after the search was suspended Friday evening after 8 p.m.
About 10:30 p.m., she said she heard a knock on the back door. She looked through the peephole saw her husband and told him to go. “I can’t let you in,” she told him, “You’re all over the news. Don’t bring this to the children.”
Police later found Michael hiding in the building’s laundry room. They say he was arrested without further incident.