The home the victim ran to for help, which was later set on fire by the suspect -- fire damage can be seen near the front porch.
ISABELLA COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -
Central Michigan University police received a report of an abduction at gunpoint and now law enforcement is telling WNEM that the suspect is dead and the victim is recovering.
The incident occurred in the parking lot of the Student Activity Center around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night.
Police said the suspect forced a female victim into her vehicle at gunpoint before fleeing campus. Authorities say the man, who is described as a 30-year-old Mount Pleasant resident, bound and sexually assaulted the victim at a home before forcing her into a vehicle again. Police said the suspect had 2 gas cans with him during the crime spree.
Police said the suspect told the victim he was going to kill her, and that's when she managed to escape from the moving vehicle and ran to a nearby house for help. A resident at the S. Mission Road home let her in and immediately locked the door. The suspect went to that home and set the house with gasoline. The home owner was able to extinguish the fire after a short time.
The suspect fled the scene in the victim's SUV and several hours later, Mt. Pleasant authorities were notified by Gaylord 911 that the suspect vehicle had just rammed an MSP cruiser. A chase began, during which several police cars were damaged. Police said when one cruiser was rammed, a Michigan State Police trooper shot and killed the suspect.
During the news conference on Thursday morning, Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski and Central Michigan University Police Chief Bill Yeagley met with reporters to discuss the abduction and said the suspect had an extensive criminal background.
Yeagley said during the conference that the victim is now with family. Investigators said the victim had been told by her attacker that he chose her randomly and because she was alone -- two other women he had scoped out on campus had been accompanied by another person. Yeagley said CMU would ramp up security measures with extra patrols.
WNEM TV5has identified the deceased suspect as Eric Lee Ramsey. TV5 found a Facebook page belonging to Ramsey and on it he posted 8 hours ago via mobile phone, "Well folkes im about to get shot. Peace." According to information on that page, Ramsey was from Shepherd and had a young son.
Late Thursday afternoon, TV5 learned that the gun Ramsey was carrying during the ordeal was really a BB-gun.
Prison records say Ramsey was paroled last summer after serving the minimum five years for assault with intent to do great bodily harm. The maximum sentence is 15 years, and inmates are eligible for parole review after their minimum sentences.
Ramsey was also convicted in 2005 for felonious assault in Gratiot County. He beat a woman with a tire iron in that case.
Corrections Department spokesman Russ Marlan says Ramsey's prison conduct was "pretty good." Marlan says after release, Ramsey held a job and tested negative for drugs.
The victim continues to recover.
UPDATE: WNEM.com has an update on Ramsey's criminal background -- to read that story, click here.
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