3:14 PM EST, January 17, 2013
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. (AP) — A parolee 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.
"We don't know what possessed him to do that. We may never find out," Mioduszewski said.
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 and pledged to kill her, 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 on the phone, Ramsey "ended up pouring gasoline on the house and then lit it on fire," Mioduszewski said in a statement.
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."
Central Michigan President George Ross said the school would support the Grand Rapids-area woman and her family.
Ramsey has been on parole since last summer after serving the minimum five-year prison sentence for assault with intent to do great bodily harm, according to Corrections Department online records. The maximum was 15 years.
An email seeking comment on the parole decision was not immediately returned.
Ramsey also has convictions for destruction of police or fire property, resisting police and assault with a dangerous weapon, records show.