PORT ALLEN — Two men arrested after leading officers on a high-speed chase early Friday through West Baton Rouge and Iberville parishes are suspected of killing a woman and beating her daughter unconscious in Port Orange, Fla., Sheriff Mike Cazes said.
The chase began after West Baton Rouge sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop the men for displaying an improper license plate near the Interstate 10 Lobdell exit around 12:15 a.m., Cazes said.
The suspects, later identified as Tyler J. McClain, 24, and Bradley A. Suntich, 25, both of Port Orange, sped up, reaching speeds over 100 miles per hour while leading two deputies and a State Police trooper on a 12-mile westbound chase into Iberville Parish, authorities said.
During the chase, the men threw several objects believed to be drugs out of their stolen 2007 Toyota sport utility vehicle, State Police spokesman Russell Graham said.
Investigators believe the men swallowed several pills in an attempt to get rid of evidence, Graham said.
The suspects eventually pulled off the interstate at the Grosse Tete exit and onto Sidney Road, which is a dead-end street, West Baton Rouge Sheriff Cazes said.
When the suspects saw the dead-end sign, they attempted to turn around, but collided with the trooper’s vehicle, the sheriff said.
After authorities arrested McClain and Suntich, a search turned up a wallet inside the SUV that didn’t belong to either of them, Cazes said.
One suspect told investigators the pair beat two women to death with a hammer in Port Orange and then stole the SUV, Cazes said.
Authorities took one of the arrested men to State Police headquarters, the sheriff said.
The other man, who had severely slurred speech, told investigators he had been taking painkillers throughout their drive from Florida. He was taken to a Earl K. Long Medical Center for treatment, Cazes said.
After questioning the men, deputies called police in Port Orange and told them they needed to check into the pair’s story, Cazes said.
Florida authorities arriving at a residence on Sunset Cove Drive in Port Orange forced their way inside after they heard a knocking noise coming from the upstairs portion of the house, a Port Orange Police Department news release says.
Laura J. Hill, 53, of Port Orange, was found dead in an upstairs bedroom and her daughter, Angela M. Hill, 25, also of Port Orange, was found alive but unconscious in another bedroom, the news release says.
Laura Hill appeared to be dead of blunt force trauma, the release says.
Angela Hill underwent surgery Friday morning and was listed in critical condition in a Daytona Beach hospital’s intensive care unit, the release says.
Port Orange investigators flew to Louisiana on Friday afternoon to question McClain and Bradley A. Suntich.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal reported Friday that McClain previously dated Angela Hill and had lived on and off with her family.
Both suspects, the newspaper reported, have lengthy rap sheets.
Suntich was just released from custody in April after serving four years in prison on a 2007 burglary and purse-snatching conviction, the newspaper reported.
He had previously spent a year in prison as an 18-year-old in 2004 for animal fighting, the newspaper reported.
In between prison stints, Suntich, the newspaper said, spent time in the Volusia County, Fla., Branch Jail for numerous offenses including theft, shoplifting, loitering and marijuana possession.
McClain, like Suntich, first went to prison at age 18 in 2005 on a burglary conviction, the newspaper said.
McClain was sent back to prison on another burglary conviction in 2007 and released in 2009, the newspaper reported.
Since 2004, McClain has been arrested 10 times in Volusia County on criminal counts ranging from disorderly conduct to battery and robbery, the newspaper reported.