A fiery car crash in Carroll County on Thanksgiving night killed a 16-year-old girl and her 20-year-old fiance, who police say abducted her minutes earlier from her home after arguing with her family on at least two occasions.
Elijah Cox, 20, of Villa Rica, was driving on Rainey Road about 8:40 p.m. Thursday with Raina Reed in the passenger seat. Cox’s Volvo sedan crossed into the opposite lane on a curve, then struck a tree and caught fire.
The pair were killed instantly, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said.
Earlier in the night, Cox tried to leave Reed’s family Thanksgiving gathering with her, Channel 2 Action News reported. He was told he could not leave with the girl, said Reed’s aunt, who spoke to Channel 2 but asked not to be named. The aunt said she thought Cox was drunk and told him to leave, which he did.
She took Reed, a Temple High School student, back to her parents’ house in Temple. Cox then showed up at that location with a rifle and handgun, the aunt said. Reed’s stepfather and a neighbor, a Haralson County sheriff’s deputy, and Cox fired their weapons outside the home, according to Channel 2. The aunt told the television station that Cox fired three times.
Reed and six other family members hid in a bathroom during the gunfire. But Cox made it into the house, and after arguing with Reed, police said he abducted her at gunpoint.
Carroll County Deputy Chief Brad Robinson said one of his officers spotted Cox’s speeding car a short distance away.
Minutes later, the pair were dead.
The Georgia State Patrol confirmed a rifle and a handgun were found in the charred remains of the car, according to Channel 2.
The sheriff’s office said the couple had moved in together in Villa Rica about a week ago. Reed had recently agreed to marry Cox, though her family was opposed to their relationship, the aunt told Channel 2. The age of marriage consent in Georgia is 16, with parental permission.
Reed’s aunt said Cox had described their relationship as a “Romeo and Juliet” scenario. The pair had been on-again, off-again for a couple of years, she said.
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