WEST POINT, Ga. -- A man suspected in the killings of women in Florida and one in Alabama died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a standoff Tuesday at a Georgia motel in which a female suspect was arrested, authorities said.
Escambia County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Amber Southard in Florida confirmed that 44-year-old William “Billy” Boyette fatally shot himself Tuesday evening at the motel in the neighboring state. Boyette and 37-year-old Mary Rice had holed up inside a motel room, authorities said, adding Rice was taken into custody.
Boyette had been suspected in the killings of two women in Florida and one in Alabama. Later on Tuesday, the sheriff’s office said that 28-year-old Kayla Crocker, a fourth woman, died from her injuries, CBS affiliate WKRG reported. Crocker had been hospitalized since Monday morning, after Boyette allegedly shot her in Beulah, Florida, in a home invasion.
Boyette targeted Crocker for her vehicle, a 2006 White Chevy Cobalt, Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said, according to WKRG.
Around 2:30 p.m. ET on Tuesday afternoon, the Chevy Cobalt that Boyette and Rice allegedly stole was spotted at the West Point Motel, which is about an hour north of Columbus, Georgia, WKRG reported.
Authorities were alerted and they surrounded the west Georgia motel, Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff told reporters, according to video posted online by WTVM-TV.
A standoff ensued, and investigators said that the pair visibly taunted authorities from the motel room, waving at them. The standoff continued for more than three hours, according to WKRG.
Boyette allowed Rice to leave the motel room Tuesday evening and she was seen crying as she was taken into custody, Woodruff said. Authorities then heard a single gunshot from inside the motel room and subsequently found Boyette dead inside, Woodruff said.
Authorities in Alabama had issued capital murder warrants in the case earlier Tuesday as the search for the pair entered its second week.
Officials said Boyette and Rice were suspected in the deaths of Alicia Greer, 30, and Jacqueline Jeanette Moore, 39, whose bodies were found at the Emerald Sands Inn in the Florida Panhandle community of Milton on Jan. 31. Investigators said the two drove across the state line and fatally shot Peggy Broz, 52, in Lillian, Alabama, on Friday, also taking Broz’ car.
The two also are accused of shooting and critically wounding Kayla Crocker, 28, on Monday, said Escambia County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Chip Simmons.
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 had multiple chances to flee or ask for help.
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 in the early hours of Feb. 3. They also had warned that the two were 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 car was stolen and the sheriff told news outlets that video surveillance confirmed Boyette and Rice drove it to a nearby gas station and ate at a fast food restaurant shortly after the attack.
Morgan said Boyette had a history of drug trafficking and was known to have been a heavy user of the drug Spice.