MANSFIELD, Ohio– Two people are dead following a murder-suicide in Mansfield, and a 7-week-old baby was found safe after a harrowing search.
For some time Wednesday night, authorities were worried the situation might get worse because they could not locate the child.
“Nobody knew where the child was,” said Mansfield Police Chief Kenneth Coontz at an afternoon news conference.
Police knew a domestic dispute led to the shooting death of a 22-year-old woman in the parking lot at Broadwood Way Apartments on West Fourth Street. They also heard that her infant may have been in the car the suspect was driving.
The child’s mother, Kaitlyn Carol Peak, had been shot once while in the car during an argument and again after she fled the car.
The suspect, identified as 20-year-old Dakota M. Steagall, was on the run with the baby shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Early Thursday morning, police used spike strips to stop the car on a ramp from Route 30 to state Route 3. Steagall killed himself as officers approached.
Mansfield police said he had already dropped the baby off with his family members in Ashland County.
According to police, officers had been called out in the past for reports of domestic disputes between Steagall and Peak.