UPDATE (FEBRUARY 9, 2017):
WEST POINT, GA — The multi-state manhunt for suspected serial killers William “Billy” Eugene Boyette, 44, and Mary Michelle Craig Rice, 37, drew to a dramatic close with Boyette dead and Rice in custody, facing capital first-degree murder charges.
Boyette and Rice are accused of embarking on a seven-day crime spree that took the lives of four women.
On Tuesday, a heavily armored law enforcement presence surrounded the couple, who were hiding out at the West Point Motel in Georgia. After a three-hour standoff, Rice walked outside and peacefully surrendered herself to officers. Moments later, a single gunshot rang out. That’s when Boyette is believed to have fatally shot himself in the head
SWAT team members dispatched a robot into the motel following Boyette’s suicide. Alongside his body, officers found two handguns and an assault rifle.
Billy Boyette is specifically suspected in the murders of his ex-girlfriend Alicia Greer, 30, and her friend Jacqueline Moore, 39, in Milton, Florida; Peggy Broz, 52, in Lillian, Alabama, from whom he stole a car; and Kayla Crocker, 28, a mother-of-two he shot to death during a home invasion in Beulah, Florida.
Mary Rice is alleged to have acted as Boyette’s accomplice throughout the spree. In addition, she has been charged with first-degree capital murder charges in the shooting death of Peggy Broz. Officials have extradited Rice to Florida, where she may face the death penalty.
Kayla Crocker’s family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise finances to pay for the young mom’s funeral costs.
ORIGINAL STORY (FEBRUARY 7, 2017):
ESCAMBIA COUNTY, FL — Authorities in Florida and Alabama have joined forces and are asking citizens to be on the lookout for William “Billy” Eugene Boyette, 44, and Mary Michelle Craig Rice, 37. An intense, multi-state manhunt is underway to apprehend the pair.
Boyette is the main suspect in the January 31 murders of Alicia Greer, 30, and Jacqueline Moore, 39, in a Milton, Florida, motel, along with the February 2 slaying and vehicle robbery of Peggy Broz, 52, in nearby Lillian, Alabama.
Mary Rice is believed to be actively accompanying Boyette. She is said to have possibly dyed her hair orange recently.
On February 6, investigators allege that Boyette shot Kayla Crocker, 28, during a home invasion.
The pair also allegedly stole Crocker’s car. Surveillance video has captured Boyette and Rice filling the vehicle up with gas and eating afterward at a Hardee’s fast-food restaurant.
Crocker has thus far survived the attack in an intensive-care unit. Her two-year-old son, who was present at the time of the invasion, was unharmed.
Police describe Boyette as a skilled criminal and a chronic abuser of the amphetamine drug “spice.”Related: 3 Things You Need To Know About Spice/Synthetic Marijuana
Boyette’s arrest record includes extreme domestic violence, including stabbing and choking an ex-girlfriend, who later recanted her charges.
Authorities do consider these events part of an ongoing crime spree which, given its lethal consequences, various law-enforcement agencies are working together intensely to end.
At a press conference on Monday, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Chip Simmons said:
“What we are experiencing is a running nightmare, quite honestly. In short, we have a killer. He is in our midst. Everyone, and I mean everyone, should be aware of this, should be aware of what they look like.”
Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan added that, “[Boyette] has made this statement to many, many people that he will not be taken alive. In law enforcement we take those threats and those admonitions very seriously.”
Police warn that Boyette and Rice are considered armed and extremely dangerous. If you spot them, do not approach them. Instead, please call (850) 433-STOP. All calls and information will remain anonymous.
Main photos: Mary Rice (left) Billy Boyette [Escambria County Sheriff’s Office updated handout]