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DETECTIVE: "I Was Convinced That She Was Going To Die."

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Deputies said they thought a woman abducted Monday morning in Pitt County was going to die.

Brandi Baggett was released by her ex-boyfriend's family yesterday afternoon, but Paul Ireland ended up taking his own life at a friend's home in Northampton County, according to investigators.

Deputies started searching for the two early Monday when the 22-year-old woman didn't show up for work. Just last week, Ireland was charged with assaulting Baggett and then stalked her when he got out of jail, deputies say.

The woman was taken to Northampton County by Ireland, according to investigators. After some negotiations over the phone, she was brought back to Pitt County by Ireland's grandmother and quickly taken into protective custody.

Shortly afterward, deputies located Ireland and they say that's when he took his own life.

Det. John Guard says the couple was a "textbook case of domestic violence" and they feared the worse. "Up until the point she was returned to us yesterday by Paul's relative, you couldn't have convinced me that it was going to turn out out that way," said Det, Guard. "I was convinced that she was going to die."

The domestic violence investigator said Ireland made a choice to let her live. He said it's unfortunate that the man made the other choice to take his own life. "One family rejoices today, while another grieves," Guard told reporters at a morning news conference.

There were 481 murders in North Carolina last year, 122 of those were as a result of domestic violence. Guard says citizens need to stand up against domestic violence and stop it when it's in the early stages, such as derogatory comments or put downs before it escalates into violence.


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A man suspected of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend, just days after he was accused of assaulting her...is now dead.

22 year old Brandi Baggett was the focus of the search by Pitt County deputies, after she didn't show up for work Monday morning. Deputies say her ex boyfriend, 27-year-old Paul Ireland, was charged with an assault on her last week, and stalked her after he was released from jail.

Baggett was found safe late Monday afternoon....and a short time later, Ireland was found dead at his cousin's home in Northampton County. The Sheriff's office will have a news conference Tuesday morning to discuss the case in more detail.


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Deputies say a woman who they believed was abducted this morning has been found, while the man they were looking for has been found dead.

Pitt County deputies say Brandi Baggett was found around 4:00 p.m. and is safe.

Earlier, Sheriff Neil Elks said he was concerned for the 22-year-old woman's safety.

Deputies were looking for Baggett's former live-in boyfriend, Paul Ireland, who they considered armed and dangerous.

A Sheriff's Office spokeswoman says when authorities went to a home in Northampton County where they believed Ireland was located, he shot and killed himself.


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Pitt County lawmen are searching for a man in connection with the disappearance of a woman this morning.

Sheriff Neil Elks says Brandi Baggett is missing and they are concerned for her safety.

Elks says the 22-year-old from Pactolus was last seen around 7:30 a.m., about the same time some of her neighbors on Cattail Court heard a disturbance at the home she shares with her boyfriend.

Paul Ireland is considered an abduction suspect. He was arrested last week for misdemeanor assault on a female and communicating threats. The sheriff says Baggett was the victim in both of those cases.

Elks says Ireland, who is 27, may be driving a faded burgundy single cab truck with North Carolina tag HD-97878. Earlier, the sheriff said Ireland may be in a Ford F-150 truck, but that is no longer the case.

If anyone sees Ireland or Baggett they should call 911.


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