A teenage boy and his mother are dead following a tragic domestic situation Friday that started at their Kentucky home and ended with a traffic stop on Interstate 75 near Middletown.
The Warren County Coroner’s Office confirmed Kim Thomas, 34, of Mayfield, Ky., was found deceased in the back of her ex-boyfriend Terry Froman’s white SUV near mile marker 31 on northbound I-75. She was found naked and bloody, and likely was shot multiple times, Deputy Coroner Doyle Burke said. It is unclear when she died, but an autopsy will be performed Saturday to determine that, he said.
Police also found Froman, 41, of Illinois, inside the vehicle suffering from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was taken to Atrium Medical Center in Middletown for treatment, and later into police custody.
Kentucky authorities say Froman abducted Thomas from her Mayfield home, and when her 17-year-old son tried to intervene, Froman shot him twice, killing him. Graves County Sheriff Dewayne Redmon said friends of Thomas went to her home around 10 a.m. to check on her after she did not report to work. They found her 17-year-old son Michael “Eli” Mohney lying on the living room floor with two gunshot wounds, and they immediately called police.
There were signs of a struggle, Redmon said.
“What we believe, apparently the son intervened and tried to protect his mother, and it cost him his life,” the sheriff told our news partner WCPO 9 On Your Side.
Murder and kidnapping charges have been filed against Froman, according to Redmon. More charges may be pending in Ohio.
Prior to that call, the Kentucky State Police and the Paducah Police Department were investigating the possible abduction of a white female at a convenience store on the south side of Paducah, Ky., Redmon said. Paducah police viewed a video of a naked female, believed to be Thomas, getting out of a white 2004 GMC Yukon, that fit the description of Froman’s SUV, and being forced to get back inside the vehicle.
Meanwhile, another call had been placed to the Kentucky State Police dispatch that Froman had been to his mother’s house in Paducah covered in blood. He was “very uncooperative in telling his mother what he had been involved in,” Redmon said in a news release.
Kentucky authorities put out a nationwide broadcast to be on the lookout for a white SUV driven by Froman, who was believed to have abducted Thomas. Kentucky and Ohio law enforcement tracked Froman’s location through his cell phone. An Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper spotted the vehicle at 12:59 p.m. and a traffic stop was initiated at 1:13 p.m., according to the highway patrol. When the trooper tried to pull over the SUV, Froman drove for about two miles before pulling over at about 1:17 p.m.
Within a minute of Froman stopping, troopers heard at least one gunshot.
“When troopers exited their vehicle, they heard shots fired coming from within the vehicle,” said Lt. Craig Cvetan, of the highway patrol. “Troopers took up position and waited for additional personnel to arrive before approaching the vehicle.”
They found Froman injured from a single gunshot and Thomas deceased inside of the vehicle. Froman was taken to the hospital at 1:40 p.m. with non-life threatening injuries, according to authorities.
Troopers never fired their weapons, Cvetan said.
The shooting investigation shut down northbound I-75 between Ohio 63 and Ohio 122 until 5:30 p.m. Friday, snarling traffic. Some drivers were stuck in traffic so long, they ran out of gas.
Sandi Julifs, of Whithamsville, was stuck in traffic for more than two hours on her way to Fort Wayne, Ind. She was shocked to learn that a shooting was the reason for her delay.
“That’s horrible,” she said. “Really sad. Sad that anybody would shoot somebody.”
Mohney attended Mayfield High School. Students formed prayer circles after learning of the shooting, and grief counselors and youth ministers were brought to the school, school district spokeswoman Kim Hamby told WCPO.
“Eli and Kim are with all the other people who have gone on before. They were Christians, they had accepted Christ,” said Mohney’s great uncle Dennis Thomas. “Sometimes I look at things, when God reaches down … and sort of plucks him a rose. And we’ll get through it that way.”
The investigation is continuing by the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Graves County Sheriff’s Office and the Kentucky State Police