BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A news conference Tuesday morning in Florida should shed new light on the manhunt for an alleged killer and his reported accomplice. WLOX News Now has learned one of the victims in this triple murder has ties to Biloxi.
The multi-state manhunt for murder suspect William "Billy" Boyette started once authorities connected him to the deaths of three women over four days in Florida and Alabama. Boyette is accused of murdering two women in Florida and a woman in Alabama. One of those women is a former Biloxi resident.
Authorities on the coast say they've been told to be on the lookout. Meanwhile, the Escambia County Sheriff's Department is calling the case a running nightmare and is urging residents in Florida and Alabama to be on high alert.
"Till such time that we get to Mr. Boyette or Ms. Rice in custody, practice some common sense. When you go to work, when you come home, make sure a friend or family member knows where you are," said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
Officials are looking for Boyette, 44, and the woman he's traveling with, Mary Rice. Boyette is accused of the murders of 30-year-old Alicia Ann Greer and 39-year-old Jacqueline Jeanette Moore.
Greer's dad told WLOX News Now that Greer lived in Biloxi during her teen years with her mom. The two victims' bodies were discovered at the Emerald Sands Inn in Milton, FL. Boyette is also to blame for the death of 52-year-old Peggy Phillips Broz. She was found dead in her front yard in Lillian, AL.
A fourth victim was wounded after she was shot at her home in Florida. We have no word yet on her condition. Authorities have been doubling officers in Florida. Bloodhounds are being used in the search. During a news conference Monday, Morgan called the situation dangerous.
"It's difficult to speak about this lady and gentlemen, because these are the cases that we in law enforcement fear. We have with the last two victims anyway--a random selection," Morgan said.
Morgan said because the suspects have been so mobile, they've been able to allude capture. The two are believed to be staying in wooded areas and frequenting fast food restaurants. Several sources have told the Escambia County Sheriff's Department that Boyette says he won't be taken alive. The two are believed to be traveling in a white 2006 Chevy Cobalt with heavy damage to the rear passenger side. The vehicle should have an oval sticker in the back window of a skull and crossbones. The Florida tag reads 9613BJ.
If you see either suspect you're told not to approach them. Instead, call 911 immediately.
"Mr. Boyette, there are two places you can end up, prison or a cemetery. The choice is yours," Sheriff Bob Johnson, of the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Department, said in a Tuesday morning news conference.
He implored the triple murder suspect to do the right thing and surrender to the professional law enforcers searching for him.
"How it happens is totally up to you," said Johnson.