New details unfold on the kidnapping and rescue of an Akron area nurse and the murder of her mother

New details unfold on the kidnapping and rescue of an Akron area nurse and the murder of her mother
Nicole Bronowski (Source: Cuyahoga Falls Police)

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio (WOIO) - A kidnapped Akron area nurse is safe, but her mother has been murdered, and the man suspected of both crimes is dead after a shootout with the FBI.

The crimes happened in Ohio and ended in Louisiana and happened over several days and in several counties.

James Edward Hawley, 47, who also went by the name Ahmad Ben David, posted a photo of himself on social media with a weapon in each hand, pointed towards the camera.

[ FBI: murder-kidnapping suspect from Cleveland used Arabic alias to post ‘ideologies of violence’ on social media prior to committing crimes ]

The FBI said the post was made just hours before he tied up, raped, and murdered 69-year-old Norma Matko of Belmont County.

The crime happened on Thanksgiving inside of her home.

Detectives said there was a word or symbol carved on the 69-year-old woman’s back.

Family members say the photo of Hawley aiming two 9-millimeter pistols they believe were taken at the Cuyahoga Falls apartment of the murder victim’s daughter Nicole Bronowski – a woman he once dated.

Just hours after the murder of her mother, Bronowski, a nurse at Akron Children’s Hospital, was reported missing to Cuyahoga Falls Police by her ex-husband and children.

Bronowski’s disappearance, quickly connected to the death of her mother. At the center of it all – Hawley, whose criminal record shows he went to prison for more than a decade on a conviction of Voluntary Manslaughter.

Jeff Fortunato, the FBI’s Special Agent in Charge in Cleveland, says, “The suspect posted numerous photos of himself with firearms on social media and had made statements online and to individuals ultimately known to us (law enforcement), saying he wanted to kill some cops.”

Pictures of more weapons in Hawley’s vehicle were also posted on his social media page.

So, the FBI began tracking his cell phone along with the missing woman’s

It may have been the Cleveland man’s love of social media that led police straight to him Tuesday night.

On November 27th, with a new cell phone, Hawley went on Facebook and sent what appeared to be a threat to this kidnapped victim’s 16-year-old son saying, “You get it twisted. I ain’t running. I am hunting. 400 years worth of killing is in my soul. Quiet before you wake up and see me. Or maybe your words will send me to your brother’s house.”

Another person on messenger asks Hawley, is he going to die? Hawley replies saying, “Nah, I ain’t gonna die. But umma do a lot of killing.”

Those messages were enough to help track Hawley to a hotel in Pineview, Louisiana. When the FBI made their move to get him, a shootout occurred. The suspect was killed, and an FBI agent wounded. Bronowski was not injured during the gunfire.

There are some inconsistencies in the court papers when it comes to the kidnapped woman, but the FBI tells 19 News, “Those court documents were written before she was recovered and interviewed Tuesday night. She was an abducted victim.”

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