A man abducted and raped a Central Michigan University student, set a house on fire where the woman had fled for help and was fatally shot miles away by a sheriff's deputy, authorities said Thursday.
Isabella County Sheriff Leo Mioduszewski said the man was identified as Eric Ramsey, 30, of Mount Pleasant.
The woman was abducted from campus in her own vehicle Wednesday night and taken to a home off campus where she was bound and raped.
The sheriff said Ramsey then put her back in the Ford Escape, but she escaped from the moving vehicle and ran to a home yelling for help.
While the woman was inside talking to an emergency dispatcher, Ramsey "ended up pouring gasoline on the house and then lit it on fire," Mioduszewski said in a statement.
By early Thursday morning, Ramsey was spotted in Otsego County, where he rammed the first of two state police cars. The sheriff said he subsequently stole a truck and was fatally shot by a deputy in Crawford County, 85 miles north of the university.
The fire at the Mount Pleasant home was extinguished by the owner.
Campus police Chief Bill Yeagley said Ramsey told the woman that he chose her at random outside the Student Activity Center on campus. The chief said the woman saved her own life by fleeing from the car.
"I believe she made all the right choices," Yeagley said. "She's the true hero in this."
Children recount woman screaming for help
Only two children, a young boy and girl, were inside the home that the victim ran to when she jumped out of the car that Ramsey had put her in.
"I come out and I heard banging on the door, and I here someone screaming 'help'. It sounded like a girl," said the boy.
Little did he know, that woman had just jumped out of a car, and ran for her life after being raped by Ramsey.
The children were waiting for their parents to comeback home when they heard her cries for help.
"She said a guy just kidnapped me, and he was going to try and kill me. She said we've got to hide inside, so I locked all my doors," said the boy.
Soon after that is when Ramsey approached the house.
"He came up to the door, and we heard banging. He was screaming let me in," said the boy.
When they didn't open the door, Ramsey set fire to a bush outside using gasoline. He then drove off.
The children were hiding with the victim in a bathroom.
Luckily their father arrived back home in time to put the fire, and he found his children with the victim inside.
"I'm very proud of my children. This is a scenario you explain to your children," said the boy and girl's father. "You don't want to leave your children at home, but parents have to work, things have to get done. You explain what to do if something like this happens, thinking that it would never happen. I'm very proud, they both did exactly what you'd hope for."
Ramsey's criminal history:
Ramsey was no stranger to the law. According to court records, he has had several criminal convictions.
- Malicious destruction of fire or police property. He was sentenced 2-6 years in 2007
- Assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and obstruction of justice. He was sentenced 2-3 years in 2007.
- Assault with intent to do great bodily harm less murder. He was sentenced 5-15 years in 2007.
- Assault with dangerous weapon. He was sentenced 2-4 years in 2006.
- Ramsey was released from prison July 2012.
- At the time of his death he was on parole until July 2014