Abductor killed himself, autopsy says Lucas, who kidnapped estranged wife, was focus of manhunt.

October 30, 1991|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Evening Sun Staff

Wade Morris Lucas Jr., 24, the Woodlawn man who kidnapped his estranged wife and led authorities on a massive manhunt and high-speed chase, died of a self-inflicted wound, according to preliminary results of an autopsy.

"The autopsy indicated that he died of a gunshot wound to the xTC head," Jim Woodard, special agent for the Southern-Piedmont District State Bureau of Investigations in North Carolina, said yesterday. "That was the only injury to the body.

"Everything we have is consistent with a self-inflicted wound," Woodard said.

The projectile, fired from Lucas' 9mm semiautomatic pistol which was also found in the car, went through Lucas' head and struck metal inside the car, Woodard said.

On Monday, Lucas kidnapped three men near Greensboro, Ga., and forced them to drive him north, apparently back to the Baltimore area, police and the FBI said.

About 6:15 a.m., the car pulled into a service station in Suwanee, Ga., where one of the hostages was allowed to get a soft drink. That hostage told a service station attendant that he and his friends had been abducted, authorities said. The attendant called police.

Shortly after 9 a.m., the car in which Lucas and the hostages were riding was spotted on Interstate 85. During a high-speed chase that followed, Lucas and police exchanged fire, authorities said.

Near Belmont, N.C., the driver ran the car off the road and, with police closing in, Lucas shot himself once in the head, authorities said.

It was not immediately known when Lucas' body would be returned to the Baltimore area.

On Oct. 22, Lucas kidnapped his estranged wife, Tara McEntyre, 22, from the 2500 block of Gwynns Falls Parkway. McEntyre was on her way to work at the city state's attorney's office when she was abducted.

The couple married in January and separated shortly afterward, af

ter Lucas became violent.

Police said the couple headed south. While at a gas station in Jacksonville, Fla., McEntyre left her work identification card and a plea for help on a restroom mirror.

On Friday, she told employees at a restaurant in Greensboro, Ga., that she had been kidnapped and asked them to call police. They did.

Police arrived, and as McEntyre jumped into the patrol car, Lucas shot her in the hip from the restaurant's roof. He then fled into nearby woods but a massive manhunt failed to locate him.

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