Missing NC girl found in Arkansas; suspected kidnapper dead, officer critically wounded, police say

North Carolina news

LONOKE, Ark. (WGHP) — The man accused of kidnapping Savannah Childress, a Davidson County teen, died in the hospital on Sunday after an officer-involved shooting in Lonoke, Arkansas, according to an Arkansas State Police news release.

Around 8 p.m. on Saturday, two Lonoke officers on patrol duty recognized a Dodge SUV parked at a McDonald’s near Interstate 40. 

It appeared to be a vehicle used in connection with the Childress abduction case.

The officers exited their patrol car and approached the suspect vehicle. The officers could see two people inside the SUV and ordered the driver to get out of the vehicle. 

The driver, later identified as William Robert Ice, 38, of Jackson Center, Pennsylvania, complied with the orders. But as he exited, he aimed a gun at one of the officers and began shooting, critically wounding the officer.

The second Lonoke officer, who was uninjured, fired back as Ice re-entered the vehicle and fled.

An Arkansas state trooper already in the area heard police radio communications reporting an officer down and spotted the suspect vehicle leaving the McDonald’s parking lot. 

The trooper pursued the vehicle through Lonoke, south along Arkansas Highway 31, and onto Raprich Road before getting stuck in a snowbank.

A 14-year-old female passenger fled from the vehicle and was secured by a state trooper. 

Inside the SUV, the trooper found Ice critically injured from what preliminarily appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Working with sheriff’s deputies in Davidson County and special agents with the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, special agents of the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigation Division were able to identify the 14-year-old passenger as the victim in a child abduction case.

Ice, who died at a Little Rock hospital earlier on Sunday, was also wanted by Pennsylvania law enforcement authorities in connection with other child predator cases. 

His body has been submitted to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory to determine the manner and cause of death.

The wounded Lonoke police officer is reported to be in stable condition at a Little Rock hospital.

The agents will continue to assist other law enforcement agencies in connection with cases that may involve Ice and the abduction of the 14-year-old victim, who will be returned to North Carolina later today.

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