Police: 'escaped' inmate found murdered after standoff

- The body of a prisoner, out of jail on an authorized visit, was discovered Wednesday in her boyfriend's closet. The boyfriend, who officers said died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound during a standoff with police, seems to have admitted to killing her before he took his own life. 

It began after Christal Anderson left a community release center for an authorized visit. She was fitted with a tracking device, but when she didn't return to the center, St. Petersburg police began searching for the woman they now called an escapee. 

Officers visited the home of Anderson's boyfriend, Michael Brown, Sunday to ask where she was. He told officers the two had fought and she took off. 

Michael's sister, Lisa Marie Brown, said she went to her brother's house Sunday and Anderson was not there. 

"I went over Sunday and was visiting for awhile, I left and everything seemed fine," she said. "I didn't know anything had happened to her. I thought she had just taken off."

As police continued to investigate, they said the story didn't add up.

"He continuously tried to sell the story that she cut the ankle monitor and went outside," said Assistant Chief Jim Previtera. "We believe he probably cut the bracelet off and then disposed of it once they knew they were monitoring it." 

Meanwhile, Anderson's co-workers told officers Michael Brown had been abusing her. Information they provided turned the case of an escaped convict into a missing person's case.

Wednesday night, officers went to the home to talk to Brown, but he wouldn't let them in. 

Brown barricaded himself in the back bedroom and refused to open the door. At one point, his sister showed up.

"We were texting back and forth to one another and then he passed a note under the door to me," she said.

The note read "get my son out of here" and "I did it."

"He  told me to get my life together and help him out with his son," Lisa Marie told FOX 13 News.

Hours later, the SWAT team broke through the door and sent in a robot. Before they could reach him, a gun shot rang out and Michael Brown was found dead.

Officers said they found the body of Christal Anderson in a closet.

"Yesterday, I went in there and it was a foul smell. I thought dirty garbage," Lisa Marie recalled.

St. Petersburg police said they continue to investigate, but are saddened the case has seemingly ended in tragedy. 

"This was a woman who was paying her dues for doing what she did. She was following the rules and obliviously trying to get her life back on track," said Asst. Chief Previtera.

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