The father who died in a jailhouse suicide after allegedly killing his son’s mother during a kidnapping earlier this month posted warnings on his Facebook account more than a week before the fatal incident on February 9.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Eric Maes showed up at a home in Peoria, Arizona, on that Tuesday and kidnapped his 10-month-old son Abel as the boy’s mother, Brittany Walker-Martie, was loading him into her car. Walker-Martie reportedly held on to the car as Maes drove away, but was ultimately thrown from the vehicle. Maes later told police that he intentionally hit her with the car after she was thrown, but authorities have not confirmed this claim.
The 30-year-old mother of two reportedly survived long enough to communicate with paramedics and/or police, but died while in surgery.
Authorities issued an AMBER Alert, and Abel Maes was found abandoned but unharmed in Phoenix, where Walker-Martie lived with her son and another child, in the early hours of February 10. That afternoon, police arrested Maes in Phoenix after a brief foot chase. On February 13, Maes attempted suicide in his jail cell and was hospitalized.
Last week, Walker-Martie’s family told 12 News that Maes was in a vegetative state, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s office told AMZFamily that he was “medically incapacitated.” Prosecutors dropped all charges against him, reportedly because his family was having difficulty directing his medical care while he was still legally in police custody.
Maes reportedly died on Friday. Authorities in Maricopa County have not yet released his cause of death, or shared any information about Maes’ condition during the six days he survived the suicide attempt.
Among the unanswered questions surrounding Maes’ death are whether he was on suicide watch while in jail in Peoria, and if he had expressed any suicidal intentions following his arrest. According to a recent report, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office did not respond after the station asked is Maes was on suicide watch at the time of his self-inflicted injuries, when he was reportedly alone in his cell.
But a friend told the news station that it was obvious Eric Maes had been struggling. And Maes appeared to have made it clear he intended to harm Walker-Martie — 11 days before she was killed.
The friend, who spoke to the news station on the condition of anonymity, shared messages that Maes had posted on Facebook in the weeks and days before his arrest and death. In one, posted on January 30, Maes appeared to announce his intentions to harm Walker-Martie.
“Everyone can thank Brittany for what I’m going to do.”
On the same day, Maes posted more messages: “Just one request! Make sure Abel has a good safe place to live.” Another post read, simply, “Goodbye :’(”
It is not clear if the friend who spoke to News 12 or anyone else who saw the Facebook posts attempted to intervene.
“He was having a lot of issues in his life,” the friend said of Maes, who was reportedly a drug user, and took methamphetamine on the day of the kidnapping. “You could tell he was going through a lot mentally.”
According to the report, Maricopa County Jail Crime Detectives are investigating Maes’ death, and MCSO’s Professional Standards Bureau is also expected to review the fatal incident.
CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.
For the latest true crime and justice news, subscribe to the ‘Crime Stories with Nancy Grace’ podcast. Listen to the latest episode: