Police: Man kidnapped young mom from her apartment, shot her in the head when she tried to escape

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LAPLACE, LA – An unexpected crime that turned into a tragedy took place in Louisiana on April 5th that left a woman murdered and a four-year-old without a mother. In a kidnapping that turned into a murder, police say that the victim and suspect were friends.

The 37-year-old suspect, Corrie Wallace, surrendered to police on April 6th, the day after he allegedly shot 25-year-old Ja’Riel Sam in the head.

Sheriff Mike Tregre of the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office stated that Wallace went to visit Sam’s apartment on the day of the kidnapping and murder. He noted their existing familiarity with each other, and could only muster this insight to the motive:

“Something went very wrong inside of her apartment.”

The sheriff explained that some kind of argument took place between the two. The exchange eventually led to Wallace allegedly placing Sam into the trunk of her own vehicle, while her four-year-old son was still inside of her apartment.

The victim managed to escape the trunk of the car while the vehicle was in motion, acquiring some scrapes from exiting the moving vehicle. Wallace noticed Sam’s escape and had allegedly jumped out of the moving car as well.

Since the car was still moving, it eventually crashed into a guard rail. When Wallace caught up with Sam, it was reported that he shot her in the head. Deputies were alerted to a vehicular crash in the early morning hours of April 5th, which is when they discovered Sam’s body.

Sheriff Tregre stated deputies headed to the apartment of the deceased to find her son laying in his mother’s bed. The sheriff noted that scenario that played out in the apartment had left the child traumatized:

“He heard his mama screaming.”

Investigators noted that the victim’s apartment had been doused in bleach throughout various areas, while surveillance footage led deputies to naming Wallace as a suspect at the time. Wallace is now facing charges of first-degree murder in the case.

What makes the case so perplexing is what might have motivated matters to escalate the way they did.

According to the Facebook page of Wallace, he’d been recently posting about his newly started lawn care business mere days before the murder of Sam.

How exactly does one go from excitement about new prospects, to then kidnapping and murder? It’s hardly surprising as to why Sheriff Tregre could only determine that something escalated during that visit to Sam’s apartment at this point in the investigation. 

Motives aside, the passing of the young woman serves as an alarming murder that has shaken the community, as well as family and friends of Sam.

Hopefully justice is served accordingly in this case. We’ll keep the family of this slain woman in our prayers, and hope the young child left without his mother can one day find peace.

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In other news, a startling update has been unveiled regarding what was once believed to be a woman being held captive against her will in Butts County, Georgia.

Now authorities believe the once-thought kidnapped woman is instead aiding and abetting a man wanted for murderer. 

Authorities in Butts County had previously stated that 21-year-old Autumn Keara Finlay was in “extreme danger,” and was being held against her will by alleged murderer, 21-year-old Cody Bryce Matthews.

Now, they think she’s part of the “extreme danger” in the community. 

The latest update from the sheriff’s department stated the following: 

“The investigation has revealed that Autumn Keara Finlay, W/F is believed to be assisting Cody Bryce Matthews. We do not believe Autumn is in danger, but instead assisting Cody Matthews to avoid apprehension. Cody Matthews is wanted for Murder and Aggravated Assault and Autumn Finlay is wanted for aiding and abetting a fugitive.”

The Butts County Sheriff’s Office stated that a reward is available for those with information on the whereabouts of either individual: 

“If you know the whereabouts of these two individuals you are asked to call 911 immediately. They are considered armed and dangerous. A cash reward is being offered.”

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