WEST POINT, GA (WKRG) — News 5 has confirmed that Billy Boyette has died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound and his accomplice Mary Rice is in custody in West Point, Georgia.
The news brings an end to the frantic manhunt for Boyette and Rice, who collectively are accused of three murders and one shooting and home invasion.
Around 2:30pm EST this afternoon, the 2006 white Chevy Cobalt that Boyette and Rice allegedly stole from a home invasion in Beulah was spotted by a driver at the West Point Motel about an hour north of Columbus, Georgia.
The Troup County Sheriff’s Office quickly surrounded the motel, and the U.S. Marshalls Office and Georgia SWAT were called in to assist. As a standoff ensued, investigators tell News 5 that Boyette and Rice were visibly taunting authorities from their motel room, waving at them.
The standoff lasted for about three-and-a-half hours. At one point, Boyette looked outside his motel room and noticed that SWAT teams had positioned themselves around his location. Shortly after, Boyette let Rice turn herself in.
After Rice was in custody, authorities heard a single gunshot. Upon entry of the motel room, they found Boyette dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Florida State Attorney Bill Eddins tells News 5 he expects Rice to be extradited to Alabama to face capital murder charges before facing accessory murder charges in Florida.
- TUESDAY JAN. 31 — Boyette allegedly kills Alicia Greer, 30, and Jacqueline Moore, 39, at the Emerald Sands Inn in Milton, Florida
- FRIDAY FEB. 3 — Boyette allegedly kills Peggy Broz, 52, at her home in Lillian, Alabama
- MONDAY FEB. 6 — Boyette allegedly shoots Kayla Crocker, 28, in a home invasion in Beulah, Florida and steals her car
Just this morning, the manhunt for Boyette and Rice reached a week-long. Authorities released a new image of Rice, taken at a Walmart in Crestview on Thursday. The image was taken two days after Boyette and Rice allegedly killed 30-year-old Alicia Greer and 49-year-old Jacqueline Moore at a hotel in Milton, but before allegedly killing 52-year-old Peggy Broz at her home in Lillian, Alabama.
At the press conference, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson tried to get a message directly to Boyette: surrender or end up in a cemetery.
“His best choice of action if he wants to survive is to surrender, give yourself up we’ll treat you fairly and you will not be harmed, other than that it’s game on, our officers are not going to take a shot from this guy,” said Johnson. Boyette has been able to avoid detection by authorities for several days, essentially hiding out in the woods of northwest Florida.
Boyette and Rice could be in the 2006 white Chevy Cobalt that they’re accused of stealing from the home invasion in Beulah. They were seen in the vehicle shortly afterwards at a Hardee’s and Shell gas station down the street in Beulah.
The Cobalt is said to have a damaged rear fender, with a skull and crossbones sticker, damaged right rear passenger door, and Florida license plate 9613BJ,
“We don’t have cases like this very often but you have to remember Santa Rosa County is a little bit bigger than the state of Rhode Island and a lot of it is wooded area so if you want to hide there are a lot of places to do that, the great part about that is sooner or later he’s going to make a mistake and when he does we’re going to pounce on him,” said Johnson. He was last seen in western Escambia County Florida and Johnson does not believe he is in Santa Rosa. Authorities still believe the two are traveling in a white Chevy Cobalt stolen from a Beulah home Monday. Where he could pop up next is anyone’s guess.
Authorities have increased the reward for Boyette and Rice to $21,000. The reward is contingent upon information that directly leads to Boyette and Rice’s capture.
“He is pretty much a deranged man, anytime you kill unarmed people like he’s doing there’s no reason, trying to figure out why he’s doing what he does is problematic,” said Johnson. Tuesday’s news conference offered little in the way of new information on where these fugitives might be. It was clearly meant to send a message to Boyette. It’s not clear if he’ll hear it. Authorities don’t know whether or not the pair are getting help from others or even checking local media or social media on the run.