Two Dead Following Alleged Kidnapping, Multi-State Chase


Two people are dead as a result of a carjacking and police pursuit that started in Missouri Tuesday night and ended in the west part of Bond County.

According to Illinois State Police, 39-year-old Leslie Austin, from Jefferson City, Mo., allegedly carjacked a vehicle there and kidnapped 33-year-old Danielle Smith and her 10-year-old daughter. Police began a chase which went through St. Louis and into Illinois. It continued on Illinois Rt. 140 in Madison County.

Bond County deputies set out “stop-sticks” near the county line, on Rt. 140 at Mettler Road. The vehicle driven by Austin ran over the sticks, deflating tires, but he continued on.

Near Shoal Creek, the vehicle slowed down considerably giving Danielle Smith and the girl the opportunity to flee the vehicle on Rt. 140. Smith had been shot multiple times in Missouri after the carjacking, according to Illinois State Police District 11 Commander Timothy Tyler.

Austin then allegedly tried to carjack another vehicle, which was westbound on Rt. 140. It is believed Gregory Price, age 67 from Florissant, MO, pulled his truck over when he saw police car lights approaching. During the carjacking attempt, Austin allegedly shot and killed Price, who was in his vehicle. Price was returning home after playing cards Tuesday night in Panama.

State police reported that moments later, Austin attempted to car jack another vehicle but was not successful.

He returned to the SUV he had been driving, and drove onto Terrapin Ridge Road, them to Old Nebo Road.

State police said Austin exited the vehicle and continued to fire shots at officers behind him. A state trooper returned fire.

Austin was ultimately found dead. It is not known if he died from the trooper’s return fire or a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Smith was taken to a hospital where surgery was performed. Commander Tyler said she is expected to survive.

Tyler also confirmed that Smith had an order of protection against Austin. The 10-year-old girl was not injured and no police officers were harmed in the incident which crossed into Illinois shortly after 9:30 p.m.

The stop sticks were deployed in Bond County about 10:32 p.m.

Bond County Coroner Tony Brooks told WGEL he pronounced Austin dead at the scene at 11:34 p.m. He said autopsies were being performed in Madison County Wednesday afternoon on the bodies of Price and Austin.

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