A woman abducted from Lakeland Square Mall on Monday is safe after her ex-boyfriend fatally shot himself early Tuesday morning in Brevard County after a police chase.
Police found the man, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after they used stop sticks to disable the car.
It started in Lakeland when Elizabeth Rae Hamilton, 26, was reported missing from her job at the mall. Her mother, Robin Hamilton, called police, and her ex-boyfriend, Brett Lee Curtis, was the prime suspect, according to Lakeland Police.
A statewide BOLO (be on look out) for a white Nissan Altima was released, and South Daytona police attempted a traffic stop around 3:00 a.m. Tuesday near the 700 block of Beville Rd. Curtis, 28, took off and eventually ended up southbound on Interstate 95.
Volusia County Sheriff's spokesperson Gary Davidson said Curtis called 9-1-1 twice around 3:07, and said he was willing to kill the female in the car if authorities did not back off. Around the same time, the suspect fired shots out of the vehicle at law enforcement officers. Authorities did not return fire.
Stop sticks were approved at 3:13, and once the vehicle was stopped, the woman escaped, and the driver shot himself. He was later pronounced deceased.
Authorities from South Daytona, Volusia, Edgewater and Brevard were all involved on the call.
ABC Action News spoke to Elizabeth Hamilton's parents, who say they were up all night very distraught about the entire ordeal, but relieved to have her back home.
"If we hadn't prayed much recently, we certainly did last night," her father Joe Hamilton said.
Her mother told our crew she had found Elizabeth's purse and other belongings near an employee exit at the mall and that's when she became concerned and called 911.
Her parents tell us Elizabeth had filed a restraining order on Curtis about 3 weeks ago, and said things had always been tumultuous between the two, but they never saw it coming to this.
"They were supposed to go to court today in reference to determine if it was going to be a permanent injunction or not."
Joe and Robin Hamilton were awaiting the good news, but throughout the abduction had become worried sick about her safety.
"You always have doubt. We're kind of positive people so we were hoping for the best," Joe Hamilton said.
Lakeland PD says they are picking up Elizabeth Hamilton and are bringing her back to be reunited with her family.