TAMPA (FOX 13) - A runaway teenager from Tampa has been reunited with her family after police found her with a violent fugitive, investigators said Thursday.
The previous night, Bryana LeMaire, 17, was found at the Tampa Stadium Hotel on North Dale Mabry Highway with 43-year-old Antwoine Noland.
"When I found out last night I cried," said Blake Siegfried, Bryana's brother. "When I found out they found her, the first thing I asked was, 'is she safe?' When I heard she was safe, I just lost it."
Bryana had been missing for nine days and was last seen with Noland, a man who has been arrested 10 previous times and was currently wanted for skipping a court appearance.
What frightened the teenager's family the most is that Noland is also a person of interest in the murder of Alicia Fussell, who was gunned down last week outside a liquor store on Nebraska Avenue.
A source told FOX 13 there's a deeper connection between Bryana, Noland and Fussell.
According to the source, Bryana had been dating Noland. Fussell, however, knew Noland was dangerous and warned Bryana, who had tried to end the relationship.
Fussell's husband hinted at this conflict the day after his wife was killed, telling FOX 13 Noland's tried to kill Alicia once before but she survived, only to get murdered last week.
And Fussell's family believes Noland is the killer, a theory that was not lost on Bryana's family.
"I don't even have any words. I really don't," Siegfried said, when asked about how worried he was about his sister. "Knowing what somebody like this is capable of; I don't know him personally, but the track record speaks for itself."
Bryana disappeared two days before Fussell's murder.
Working on a tip Tampa Police tracked her and Noland down at the Tampa Stadium Hotel, but detectives said Noland didn't go quietly, locking himself in the bathroom.
Officers broke in and arrested him.
"This is about as positive a result as we could have hoped for. We have a fugitive who's considered armed and dangerous and now he's behind bars. And we have a 17-year-old runaway who is back home," said Steve Hegarty, a spokesperson for Tampa Police.
Noland is currently under arrest for missing court, but could face more charges. Police are currently questioning him about Fussell's murder.