TROUP COUNTY, Ga. — Channel 2 Action News has learned a fourth victim of a duo on a multi-state killing spree has died.
William Boyette, 44, and his accomplice, Mary Rice, 37, had been on the run from police, wanted in the shooting deaths of four women in Florida and Alabama.
Their run came to an end Tuesday evening in Troup County after a deputy spotted Boyette’s car at a motel in West Point, sparking a several-hours long standoff with police.
Rice turned herself into police, and a short time later, investigators heard a gun go off in the motel room where Boyette was holed up. Inside, deputies found Boyette dead from an apparent gunshot wound.
Police had warned Boyette and Rice that they were running out of time.
"There are two places you can end up -- prison or cemetery. The choice is yours," Santa Rosa County, Florida, Sheriff Bob Johnson said.
Boyette and Rice are suspected in the deaths of Alicia Greer, 30, Boyette's former girlfriend and mother of three, and Jacqueline Jeanette Moore, 39, whose bodies were found at the Emerald Sands Inn in nearby Milton, Florida, on Jan. 31.
Investigators say the two drove across the state line and fatally shot Peggy Broz, 52, in Lillian, Alabama, on Friday, also taking Broz's car.
The two also are accused of shooting Kayla Crocker, 28, on Monday, said Escambia County Florida Chief Deputy Sheriff Chip Simmons.
Crocker died from her injuries Tuesday.
Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff told Channel 2’s Carl Willis his deputies knew exactly who they were facing.
"It was just a few weeks ago, just right up the road from here, that one of our own deputies was shot. He did recover. He's back on the job, but it just goes to show you how things can go badly very quickly," Woodruff said.
Rice will be questioned and Woodruff told Willis this all came about because of a citizen who recognized the suspects' car from a news report.
"Thank you to that citizen who took the time to call us because they could have just rode on down the road and said I’m going to mind my business. Had that been the case, we would not be here right now," Woodruff told Willis.
Agencies across the Panhandle and southern Alabama earlier had been told to consider Rice a person of interest in the attacks. On Monday she was upgraded to an official suspect.
Authorities said she had multiple chances to flee or ask for help. She also has been spotted on surveillance video entering stores on her own.
In Alabama, sheriff's investigators named the two in the capital murder warrants and said in a news release that Rice was with Boyette when Broz was shot and killed during the early morning hours of Feb. 3. They also warned that the two should be considered dangerous and advised anyone who might see them to call 911.
In Florida, Crocker's mother went to check on her after she didn't show up for work Monday morning. She found Crocker with a gunshot wound. Her 2-year-old son was not injured, sheriff's officials said.
Crocker's white Chevrolet Cobalt was stolen and the sheriff told news outlets that video surveillance confirmed
Boyette and Rice took the car to a nearby Shell station and ate at a Hardee's restaurant a short time after the attack.
Sheriff David Morgan in Pensacola, Florida said Boyette had a history of drug trafficking and is known to be a heavy user of the drug Spice.
He said his agency has been "chasing a lot of shadows and a lot of rumors" in the search and warned residents to stay alert.
"When you go to work, when you come home, make sure a friend or family member knows where you are ...," Morgan said. He added that while the measures may seem extreme, "We're dealing with an extreme situation here."
Channel 2’s Audrey Washington spoke to a witness who described the tense moments.
"It was a no-win situation. If he had went out the back door window they would have got him. If he came out the front door they would have got him. Police were down here, down 29," Shawn Anderson said.
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