An Ohio nurse who had been missing for a week was found several states away, and the man accused of kidnapping her and murdering her mother has been killed by police.
According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Thoue Nichole Bronowski (previously identified as Nichole Bronowski) was rescued in Louisiana on Tuesday night after a multi-state manhunt. The 45-year-old woman’s ex-husband reported her missing from her Cuyahoga Falls home on Thanksgiving Day, the same day Bronowski’s mother was found dead in her home, 115 miles away, of an apparent murder.
Police reportedly believe that James Edward Hawley, 47, kidnapped Bronowski last Wednesday night or early Thursday morning and drove with her to her mother’s house, where he fatally shot the mother, identified as 68-year-old Norma J. Matko. Hawley then allegedly stole Matko’s car and drove to Cleveland, before switching to yet another vehicle to drive to Louisiana with Bronowski.
According to the report, investigators discovered Matko’s car abandoned and burned in or near Cleveland.
It is not clear from the report how authorities located the suspect and the kidnapping victim in Lousiana, but Hawley had reportedly posted photos of himself with firearms on social media, with captions about his intent “to kill some cops.”
Because Hawley is reportedly a convicted felon, prohibited from owning firearms, the FBI issued a warrant for his arrest.
On Tuesday, investigators reportedly found the suspect and Bronowski at a motel in Pineville, Louisiana. Hawley was killed in a police shootout, and an FBI officer was injured, but is expected to recover, according to the Akron Beacon Journal.
Bronowski appears to have been physically unharmed but is extremely distraught, police reportedly said. She will soon be reunited with her family.
According to the report, authorities said that Hawley and Brownoski, a clinical coordinator at Akron Children’s Hospital and a district nurse for Akron Public Schools, had a previous relationship, but did not share specifics. A motive for the kidnapping and murder is not yet known.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better result than her being alive,” Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief Jack Davis reportedly said at a news conference. “She has been through a lot…She is going to need time to heal from this ordeal.”
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
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