A kidnapping-turned multi-county search and chase through at least four counties, including Brazos, ended with the driver's suicide and a 20-year-old female jumping from a moving vehicle late last night. It was a dramatic scene and our cameras were there while authorities investigated.
“The father advised it was a former relationship but she was trying to break it off,” explained Burleson County Sheriff Dale Stroud.
According to Burleson County Sheriff Dale Stroud, 36-year-old Ricardo Castaneda wasn't ready to let go of his 20-year-old girlfriend. So much so, authorities say he kidnapped her and led them through a multi-county manhunt and pursuit.
“The father was fearful for the daughter's safety,” Stroud said.
Sheriff Stroud said the victim's father reported the kidnapping just after 5:00 Tuesday evening.
“This thing involved three, four counties,” added Stroud. “All the corners that come together, you know, Hearne, Gause, Caldwell and Bryan.”
“We organized our efforts and we sent the patrol sergeant, and lieutenant and chief deputy sheriff went down to the river bottom around steel store and set up a command center and organized about five different patrol units near intersections,” said Brazos County Sheriff Chris Kirk.
“We knew they had been on U.S. Highway 50,” said Sheriff Stroud. “The victim had reported earlier that they were near an oil well near 50, but there are so many of those oil wells on 50 so it was hard to search everyone especially when the crops are so tall.”
Castaneda continued driving; in fact he traveled right through Brazos County.
“We just started watching and we got some information that he was traveling through the river bottom and it was already after dark at this time,” explained Sheriff Kirk. “One of our deputies had a car set up right near the command center and he saw the truck drive by and we tried to initiate a stop, but he didn't stop."
Sheriff Stroud says Castaneda told dispatch he had nothing to lose.
“He also told dispatch that he wasn't going to stop until he got her home,” said Stroud.
The two turned on FM 1362, and subsequently onto Burleson County Road 205, just a few blocks away from the victim’s home.
“We knew they were going to be coming back to the area where the victim lives, so we set up spike strips, and he just drove right over them and kept going,” said Stroud.
Authorities say the 36-year-old continued driving about a mile with flat tires, and it wasn't until he turned onto Burleson County Road 205 that his pickup slowed down; that's when the victim jumped out of the moving car and Castaneda took his life.
“The vehicle was out of service then but he had gotten close to where the victim lives and she hit a handle and jumped out of the car and then he shot himself. “It’s just unfortunate that any life at all was lost,” Stroud said. “You know, our hope is that we can resolve all of these situations without anyone getting hurt.”