APB Online

March 7, 2000

Cops Charge Wife With Murder in Fake Kidnapping

Woman, Baby Found at Rest Stop; Husband Dead at Home

By Janet Prasad
APB Online

MADISON COUNTY, Ind. (APBnews.com) -- When Michigan State Police first encountered 33-year-old Tracy Crawford at a rest stop, pajama-clad and out of gas, they believed her story that she and her husband were the victims of a sinister kidnapping plot.

Crawford, who recently had filed for a divorce, later admitted she shot and killed her husband while he slept, then left her house with the couple's infant son, authorities said.

Crawford was charged with murder Monday and ordered held without bond in the Madison County Jail, authorities said.

At the rest stop Sunday morning, Crawford told troopers that a man and woman had broken into her home and abducted her and her child late Saturday. She said the woman drove her and her son to the rest stop in Crawford's vehicle while the man stayed behind with her husband.

Spouse shot in head and chest

Shortly after 11 a.m. Sunday, Michigan State Police contacted Madison County authorities and asked them to check on Crawford's husband, Kent Crawford, at the couple's house, just outside of Anderson, said Madison County sheriff's police Maj. Ron Richardson.

Deputies discovered Kent Crawford, 34, lying in his garage, dead with gunshot wounds to his head and chest. Tracy Crawford and her son were taken back to Madison County, where Crawford was questioned by authorities.

During questioning, Crawford admitted she killed her husband, Richardson said. She took detectives to a garbage bin just outside Fort Wayne, Ind., where she had hidden the revolver she used in the crime, he said.

In her statement, Crawford said she tried to move her husband's body to their car parked in the garage after shooting him to make it look like he was killed in there, police said.

Child in care of relatives

Investigators still are trying to establish a motive for the murder. Besides the divorce filing, which was published in a local newspaper Sunday, the couple had no documented cases of domestic disputes or violence, Richardson said.

Tracy Crawford's family is caring for her son, authorities said.

Janet Prasad is an APBnews.com correspondent.

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