Tatiana N. David was found dead Wednesday night near a wrecked SUV on a highway embankment in Virginia, authorities said. Her alleged kidnapper, Michael C. Davis, 34, was also shot and wounded after police say he fled a traffic stop and crashed the vehicle before getting into a shootout with troopers, officials said.
David’s death capped a nearly 16-hour ordeal that spanned several states and prompted police in New York to issue a statewide alert.
It all started on Wednesday morning when officers responded to the abduction of David in Ithaca, New York, police said in a news release.
A witness reported the suspect forced her into a white SUV against her will, officials said.
A bulletin was issued with information about the victim and suspect, who had been in a relationship and had a 4-year-old child together, and the vehicle, police said.
A command post was set up and a search was launched.
Police said they found the vehicle at 9:25 p.m. on I-495 crossing into Virginia.
Virginia State Police stopped the vehicle, but Davis drove off, leading police on a pursuit that ended 30 minutes later when the SUV crashed in a wooded area, officials said.
Davis began firing at Virginia State Police, who returned fire, authorities said. Davis was wounded and hospitalized in critical condition, officials said.
David was found dead with an apparent gunshot wound outside the SUV where it crashed, police said. Details about whose bullet struck her were not clear. Officials said her cause of death was not released, pending an investigation and an autopsy. Information on the child’s status was unclear Saturday.
James Rice told ABC Syracuse, New York affiliate WSYR that he witnessed the abduction.
Man, I wish I could have done something,” said Rice, according to the station. “I was actually half awake when it happened, but I was trying to go back to sleep because I was still tired, but then the screaming kept me up. I was like, ‘What’s the screaming?’ So, then I looked out, and then that’s when I seen her get kidnapped and everything, and nothing I could have done.”
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