The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office has doubled the number of deputies on the street as the department continues searching for suspected murderers William Boyette and Mary Craig Rice, who authorities say are on a multi-state killing spree.
An attempted murder Monday morning marked the third attack over the last week in a spree that has crossed state lines and left three women dead and one critically injured.
ECSO deputies responded to a Pensacola address around 6:30 a.m. CT Monday to reports of a home invasion and vehicle theft. The mother of Kayla Crocker went to Crocker’s house to check on her after the young mother didn’t show up for work and found Crocker with a gunshot wound. Her 2-year-old son was reportedly unharmed.
Crocker, 28, was taken to the hospital in critical condition, and her vehicle, a white Chevrolet Cobalt, was stolen from the residence. Authorities confirmed via video surveillance that Boyette and Rice took the stolen vehicle to a Shell gas station only minutes later and ate at a nearby Hardee’s.
Rice had previously been considered a person of interest in the attacks, but was upgraded to an official suspect Monday afternoon. Authorities believe Rice had multiple opportunities to flee or ask for help, and was seen entering stores on her own.
The small communities along the Florida Panhandle have been on high alert for a week, when the pair’s alleged crime spree began. Two bodies were found at the Emerald Sands Inn in Milton on Jan. 31. One of the victims, 30-year-old Alicia Greer, was in a relationship with Boyette, but police have said all consequent victims have no known connection to the suspect. The second victim in that attack was identified as Jacqueline Jeanette Moore, 39.
The pair then allegedly went to Lillian, Ala., where authorities say they killed Peggy Broz and stole her vehicle Friday morning. The pair is believed to have then returned to the Pensacola area.
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SOURCE: USA Today; Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal, Emma Kennedy