(NEW YORK) -- A manhunt is intensifying in the Southeast for alleged killer William "Billy" Boyette and his alleged accomplice Mary Rice, who are on the run and considered armed and dangerous after the deaths of three women in the Florida panhandle area.
In Escambia County, Florida -- where uniformed and plain clothed officers are increasing patrols -- the sheriff's office on Monday called Boyette, 44, and Rice, 37, moving targets, saying they are believed to be moving through wooded areas and may be along the Florida and Alabama border. U.S. Marshals from across the country, along with bloodhounds and helicopters, are taking part in the search, officials said Tuesday morning.
"We have a killer in our midst," said Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan.
The first reported crime was on Jan. 31, in Santa Rosa County, Florida, when Alicia Greer, 30, and Jacqueline Moore, 39, were found shot to death at an inn, Morgan said.
Greer, a mother of three, was allegedly in an abusive relationship with Boyette, the victim's father told ABC affiliate WEAR in Pensacola. Authorities say the other victims didn’t appear to have any connection to Boyette.
On Feb. 3, in nearby Baldwin County, Alabama, 52-year-old Peggy Broz was discovered shot to death in her driveway, Morgan said. Officials said Tuesday that both Boyette and Rice were involved in the fatal shooting.
On Feb. 6, in Escambia County, Florida, 28-year-old Kayla Crocker was shot and injured during a home invasion, they added. Crocker's white Chevrolet Cobalt was stolen, and Morgan said that video surveillance showed the duo took the car.
Santa Rosa County, Florida, Sheriff Bob Johnson Tuesday morning said there is no doubt Rice is a "willing participant" in the crime-spree.
Regarding Boyette, Johnson said, "it's just a matter of time" before he's caught. The pair were last seen in west Escambia County, Alabama, he said.
"Sooner or later he’s going to make a mistake and when he does were gonna pounce on him," Johnson said. "Hopefully we can get to him before he does anything stupid again."
Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.