LOWELL, MA (WHDH) - The man accused of murdering his former girlfriend inside an apartment in Lowell Thursday morning was found dead Friday afternoon in the trunk of a car in Chelmsford, authorities say.
Police said a woman leaving a doctor’s office on Research Place in Chelmsford found the hand of 51-year-old Ross Elliot sticking out of the trunk of her car at around 1:45 p.m.
The woman immediately called police and officers responded to the call with guns drawn. Police popped open the trunk and said they identified the dead body as that of Elliot. They said the car was initially parked in a nearby garage before the woman drove it from Lowell to Chelmsford.
It is not clear when or how Elliot gained entry to the vehicle but Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan said he died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
Elliot is accused of shooting and 44-year-old killing Nicole White. Police said White was shot dead in her Stevens Street home at around 7:30 a.m. in front of her young daughter. White was rushed to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Neighbors said White was a wonderful person and a loving mother.
The murder sparked a massive manhunt in the neighborhood. Hundreds of police officers, K9 units and helicopters scoured the Lowell Highlands area for hours Thursday without locating Elliot.
Karan McCarthy said she thinks Elliot tried to hide at her home. She said she found her back gates open and the lattice pulled out from the deck.
“I’m thinking, who else could have been in here? Who would knock this all over? It wasn’t like this yesterday. And the gates were both shut,” said McCarthy.
Off-duty Lowell firefighter Dave Provencher came face-to-face with Elliot for a brief moment when he found him hiding under a motorcycle tarp in his yard during the height of the manhunt. In an interview with 7News, Provencher said the gun-wielding suspect was in a “bad place” and that he expressed no desire to live.
Elliot was said to be “armed, desperate and extremely dangerous.” Court records indicated that Elliot had been charged with a slew of violent crimes in the past, including assault and battery, kidnapping, domestic assault and resisting arrest.
Authorities say they are thankful Elliot was contained to the Lowell area and that no one else was injured during the manhunt.
White’s murder and the discovery of Elliot’s body remain under investigation.
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