MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (TCD) — A 26-year-old man allegedly killed his 25-year-old ex-girlfriend at a truck stop in Illinois, fled to Iowa, and then took his own life.
According to a news release from the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office, Gina Bryant was reported missing after she didn’t show up to work following her lunch break. Co-workers grew concerned and started receiving unusual text messages from her phone.
The Sheriff’s Office suspected Bryant was with her ex-boyfriend, Justin Wendling of Holly, Michigan.
Wendling was allegedly waiting at Bryant’s home when she came back for lunch. A neighbor’s surveillance video reportedly captured him guiding her to his car at approximately 1:42 p.m. on Oct. 12.
Wendling allegedly called his parents the next day and said he had killed his ex-girlfriend and was planning to take his own life. According to the Sheriff’s Office, the parents alerted law enforcement of Wendling’s location in LaSalle, Illinois.
Surveillance video and witnesses from a truck stop in LaSalle revealed that Wendling allegedly fatally shot his ex-girlfriend at around midnight on Oct. 13.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, the suspect fled to Bettendorf, Iowa. Local officers reportedly approached his vehicle and he fatally shot himself.
According to the Detroit News, Wendling and Bryant had been dating for a little less than a year and lived together. Her sister and mother reportedly made her leave the apartment they shared because Wendling abused her.
WNEM-TV reports that Bryant was a nursing student at the University of Michigan-Flint.
In a letter obtained by WNEM, Cynthia McCurren, the dean of University of Michigan-Flint’s School of Nursing, said, “There are truly no words to fully capture the anguish that losses like this cause our community. Gina was an extraordinary young woman with much ahead of her.”