The SUV drove off. The State Police followed the vehicle's tracks to an elk ranch, owned by the City of Gaylord. The tracks went through an enclosure at least 8 feet high.
Troopers, now on foot, went about a mile into the ranch before finding the SUV stuck in the snow, the release said.
They followed footprints to Arrow Sanitation, where they found vehicle tracks leading out. They put out a description for a possible stolen truck.
About 4:15 a.m., troopers were parked just north of Frederic, when a 1-ton flatbed truck came up behind them without headlights on and smashed into their patrol vehicle. The truck then turned around and rammed a Crawford County sheriff's car, causing the vehicles to get wedged together. The deputy, after being briefly pinned inside, got out and fatally shot Ramsay as he sat in the cab, authorities said.
The victim is safe and with her family, police said.
"I believe she made all the right choices," Yeagley said. "She's the true hero in this."
The campus community is on edge, several students said.
"It's just the randomness of it, right on campus that has everyone upset," said sophomore Mary Williams, 19, of Detroit.
CMU police are working to reassure the community, Yeagley said. CMU offers escorts for students at night, more than 15,000 last semester.
"We want them to feel safe as they travel campus," Yeagley said. "This is not something any of us would expect to happen on our campus."
Ramsey had a violent history. He served a prison term from July 2007 to July 2012 on a conviction for assault with the intent to cause great bodily harm less than murder. He had previous convictions for malicious destruction of fire department or police property, assaulting/resisting/obstructing a police officer, and assault with a dangerous weapon.
The parole board released him at his minimum sentence time, Michigan Department of Corrections spokesman Russ Marlan said. During his time in several Michigan prisons, he was classified as a minimum-security prisoner.
He served his last three months at a boot camp outside of Chelsea in Washtenaw County.
After he was released, he moved in with his mother.
He wore a tether, which allowed authorities to make sure he was in by curfew, Marlan said. The tether was removed Nov. 9, and Ramsey had to check in with his parole officer twice a month. His last parole check-in occurred Jan. 8. He was employed in a full-time job and following all the conditions of his parole, Marlan said.
Tiffany Ramon, 28, the fiancee of James Persyn Jr. and the mother of one of the three children in the house where the victim took refuge, said she was shocked Thursday morning when authorities told her the suspect's name. She said she and Ramsey both attended Shepherd High School, graduating in 2002.
"When I was in high school with him, and after high school, I thought he was a pretty decent guy," she said. "I didn't hear many bad things about him. He was a little bit mischievous, and a little bit of a troublemaker, but I never thought he would be that hardened."
Ramon said she saw Ramsey a few times in recent months when he stopped in at her workplace, J and M Produce, to buy food, pop and cigarettes. It seemed like prison had changed him, she said, but he still had an easygoing demeanor.
"He looked aged, like tired in the eyes, like prison had hardened him a little bit," she said. "But he didn't seem violent or destructive to me."
James said he's happy the woman is OK. "I keep trying to tell (the children) that even though it was scary and a lot to deal with, they helped somebody save their life," Ramon said.
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