Amber Alert canceled: Police say kidnapped girls, mother found safe

March 31, 2012 3:45:26 PM PDT
A frightening morning ended in relief Saturday for a southeast Houston family after a kidnapping that led to an Amber Alert ended.

A mother and her two children were found safe. The suspect -- 22-year-old Courtney Dickerson -- is dead.

"She's fine. The kids are fine," the victim's aunt, Dianna Walton, said.

Relief was a distant hope, but now a reality for Walton. A turbulent ride for her family is over.

Police say Dickerson -- a registered sex offender -- first abducted and raped his ex-girlfriend at knifepoint Thursday. They say he kidnapped her again around 2:30am Saturday after kicking in the door at her mother's home on Lawler in southeast Houston.

This time, he brought along her two daughters -- four-year-old Jayla Gasaway and two-year-old Cadence Mills.

Around 9:30am Saturday, detectives tracked down Dickerson at his home in the 7300 block of Dunkirk in southeast Houston. He was driving his ex-girlfriend's Chevrolet Tracker with the woman and her girls inside.

When Dickerson refused to cooperate, officers smashed in a window to force him to comply.

Dickerson took off, but he didn't get far.

He stopped in front of Alicia Bolt's house.

"It was hysterical. I heard the door slamming, screaming and I ran outside," Bolt said.

Authorities say Dickerson -- surrounded by police -- jumped out of his car, ran behind a house and shot himself in the head. He died at the scene.

While her worry has subsided for now, Walton she says her emotions are far from settling.

"She looks good, the girls look good, traumatized more than anything," Walton said. "I'm happy that her and the kids are safe, but [Dickerson is] still someone's child. He still has a family, and my heart goes out to him."


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