Ramon Antonio Vargas, NOLA.com, December 2, 2020
Authorities worked Wednesday to reunite a kidnapped Ohio woman with her family after a central Louisiana shootout that killed her abductor and wounded a New Orleans-based FBI agent.
They identified the dead man as James David Hawley, 47, of Cleveland, accused of killing Norma Matko, 69, in Belmont County, Ohio, and kidnapping her daughter, Thoue Nichole Bronowski, 45, who is his ex-girlfriend.
The wounded agent was being treated at a hospital, said Alicia Irmscher, spokeswoman for the FBI office in New Orleans. The agent, whose name wasn’t released, remained hospitalized as of early Wednesday evening.
Matko was found fatally shot, “sexually assaulted and mutilated” in her home in on Thanksgiving, according to documents that the FBI filed in federal court in Cleveland. The next day, Bronowski was reported missing to police in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, about 115 miles away.
Hawley became the prime suspect after investigators found a picture he posted on Facebook of him pointing two pistols at the camera, the FBI said. Investigators determined Bronowski’s phone had been sold, and they later interviewed the person who sold the device. That person reported meeting Hawley when he was with a woman who strongly resembled Bronowski. During the meeting, Hawley asked the person to sell the phone, agents wrote.
The FBI alleged that Hawley and a relative of Bronowksi later exchanged profane messages. In some of the messages excerpted in court documents, Hawley is quoted as saying, “I am hunting,” and, “This [expletive] is coming for all of you.”
Later, agents alleged in court documents, Hawley sent messages to a friend saying: “You gonna see me on the news soon enough. … I am on the run. … Any white American that ain’t Muslim getting killed or enslaved.”