An abducted 14-year-old girl was found safe on Saturday hundreds of miles away from her home in North Carolina.
Savannah Childress, 14, was reported missing from her home in Denton, N.C. on Feb. 11. Investigators say she was using her school-issued computer to talk with an individual online.
A man identified as William Robert Ice, 38, of Mercer County, Pennsylvania, took Childress from home, according to the Davidson County Sheriff’s Office. He then transported her west, sending authorities on a multi-state manhunt.
Authorities obtained a warrant for first-degree kidnapping and soliciting a child by computer.
With the help of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the FBI, United States Marshals service and Pennsylvania State Police, a tip was received that indicated Ice and Childress were spotted at a McDonalds restaurant in Lonoke County, Arkansas.
According to Arkansas State Police, two officers recognized a Dodge SUV belonging to Ice in a McDonald’s parking lot around 8 p.m. Saturday. The officers approached and found two people inside.
The driver, later identified as Ice complied with police at first but started shooting at officers, according to Arkansas State Police. One officer was critically wounded. The second officer returned fire as Ice got back in the car and fled.
An Arkansas state trooper in the area pursued Ice’s car until the Dodge became disabled in a snowbank. The 14-year-old Childress fled the car and was secured by another trooper near the scene. Ice was found with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was later pronounced deceased at a Little Rock, Arkansas hospital.
Childress was returned to her North Carolina home on Sunday.