Neb. man kills self after letting abducted wife go

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In this photo provided by the Imperial Republican, kidnapping victim Julie Hanes, 38, of Lincoln, Neb., walks into a police staging area after being released by her estranged husband who abducted her, following a massive manhunt for the pair, Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, near Imperial, Neb. Hanes' husband shot and killed himself after releasing his wife. (AP Photo/Imperial Republican, Russ Pankonin)

IMPERIAL, Neb. (AP) — A man who abducted his estranged wife from the Lincoln hair salon where she works set her free about 30 hours later, then shot and killed himself in a southwestern Nebraska cornfield, authorities said Sunday.

Officers heard a gunshot coming from the cornfield about two miles northwest of Imperial Sunday night a little more than an hour after 38-year-old Julie Hanes emerged unharmed, Nebraska State Patrol Capt. Jim Parrish said at a news conference. They found Dwayne Lawrence dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head a short time later.

Hanes was taken to Chase County Community Hospital, where Imperial police Chief Rob Browning said she told him that Lawrence planned to kill himself and that she had tried talking him out of it, The Imperial Republican reported ( ).

Lawrence abducted Hanes from the salon where she works at around noon on Saturday and took her to Imperial, a city about 260 miles west of Lincoln where Hanes' parents and some other family members live.

Local, state and federal law enforcement officers began searching an eight square-mile area west of Imperial after an Imperial police officer spotted Lawrence's gold 1998 Chrysler Concorde before dawn. Lawrence sped off, and the car was later found abandoned in the rural area outside of the city.

A motorist reported seeing the couple later walking along a country road in the area, the newspaper reported.

Court records show that Hanes filed for divorce July 30, about two weeks after she got a protection order against Lawrence, who she married in 2001. She told a judge that Lawrence had threatened her several times, and he was facing several charges related to a July 8 incident.

Hanes told police that Lawrence fired a gunshot into their bedroom wall and threatened to kill himself in front of her in the hope that she would take her own life. She said in order to get him to lower the gun, she told her husband she would stay with him.

Lawrence had been charged with false imprisonment, making threats and using a weapon to commit crimes. When he posted $25,000 bond on July 16, he was ordered to stay away from Hanes and any firearms.