On Tuesday, February 7th, Georgia authorities managed to apprehend Mary Craig Rice, one of the suspects responsible for three murders and a two-weeks long manhunt throughout the Florida Panhandle and Alabama. However, the other suspect, William “Billy” Boyette killed himself as tactical teams were surrounding the motel he was hiding in.
The crime spree started on January 31st, with the latest killing occurring on Monday. A 28-year-old young mother, Kayla Crocker, was shot in her residence and died the following day in Pensacola, Florida, hospital. Fortunately, her 2-year-old son was unharmed. However, the killers managed to elude authorities in the victim’s stolen car before first responders arrived at the scene.
According to Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan, Mary Rice surrendered and was taken into custody right away. As tactical teams were waiting for William Boyette to leave the motel room he was hiding in, they heard a single gunshot. When they entered the room, they found the suspect dead.
Events Leading up to the Arrest
Law enforcement officers responded Tuesday, at around 2:30 p.m. to a tip alerting them of the suspects’ whereabouts. An officer was dispatched to the West Point Motel in West Point, Georgia, and was able to positively identify the car the perpetrators used to flee after their latest attack on Monday. Also, the clerk at the West Point motel told authorities that Mary Rice booked the room on the same day as Kayla Crocker’s murder under her own name. Escambia County deputies confirmed there were people in the room as Rice and Boyette opened the curtains and waved at the law enforcement officers.
Official records show the law enforcement officers tried to establish contact with the suspects on multiple occasions, but to no avail. After a while, however, Marry Rice walked out of the motel room and was taken into custody. SWAT teams were preparing to use force, in case the second suspect refused to comply, but as they made their move, William Boyette decided to end it himself.
At the time of Mary Rice’s arrest, tactical teams, as well as local, state, and federal law enforcement officials, and deputies were on the scene. Rice was originally considered a person of interest in the murder cases but was later upgraded to official suspect as police officers said she had multiple chances to distance herself from Boyette but did not act on them. Now, she is facing charges of capital murder and accessory, said Bill Eddins, State Attorney.
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