A Lakeland woman said her ex-boyfriend was planning to kill himself, not force a reconciliation, when he kidnapped her Monday night before leading law enforcement on a 100-mph, two-county pursuit.
“He wasn’t asking me to get back together with him,” Elizabeth Rae Hamilton told ABC’s “Good Morning America.” “He wanted me to spend the last moments of his life with him.”
Authorities said Billy Curtis, 28, of Lakeland, fatally shot himself at the end of the 45-minute chase on Interstate 95 in Brevard County. During the pursuit, Curtis shot at pursuing officers and made four chilling 911 calls threatening them and Hamilton.
“Yeah, I’m being followed by the police with his lights on,” Curtis was heard on recordings telling a 911 operator. “I am the gentleman from Lakeland. I have kidnapped my ex-fiancee.”
In one call, Curtis threatened Hamilton while ordering a police officer to back off his pursuit.
“If he continues to follow me, I will kill her. That is your final warning,” he told the 911 operator.
Hamilton, 26, cried during a call she apparently made to 911. “He’s threatening to kill me if they keep following him,” she told the operator, also noting that Curtis had multiple weapons in the car.
“It hit one point where he looked over at me and said, ‘Three hours ago this seemed to be a good idea, now I’m not so sure,’ ” Hamilton recounted to “Good Morning America.”
Brevard sheriff’s Lt. Mike Scully said deputies deployed “stop sticks” and deflated all four of the car’s tires.
As the car slowed, Scully said Hamilton opened the door and ran from the vehicle. She was not injured. When deputies approached the car, Curtis shot himself.
“There were eight police cars behind us, lights so bright, and they were screaming, and he started screaming, ‘Get out of the car.’ He told me to get out of the car, so I did,” Hamilton said.
The abduction occurred the night before Hamilton was due in court in Polk County after her father filed for an injunction against Curtis on Sept. 27. Hamilton said Curtis was stalking her after their relationship ended, but the stalking eventually turned into threats after she refused to get back together with him.
“He threatened my life,” she said, “and then he threatened my family’s.”
Authorities said Curtis kidnapped Hamilton from Lakeland Square Mall, where she works. Her mother reported her missing and a statewide alert was issued.
A police officer in South Daytona spotted Curtis’ white Nissan Altima early Tuesday near a shopping center and attempted a traffic stop. Curtis didn’t stop, and the chase began.
“The entire time I was in the car with him I tried talking to him, saying that you got to do the right thing here, all I want is to be with my family right now. I want to go home,” Hamilton said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.