A star college softball pitcher was found stabbed to death, and a suspect in the case was struck and seriously injured moments after allegedly confessing to his mother.
Stephen Headley, 28, has been charged with the murder of Nicole Ayres, 22, whose body was found early Monday. She had been stabbed multiple times in the head, neck and back, according to the Burlington County Prosecutor's office spokesman Joel Bewley. Ayres' body was found on a soccer field in Southhampton Township, N.J.
Just hours after allegedly attacking Ayres and dumping her body, investigators believe that Headley went to his grandmother's house, where he asked for a ride to his mother's home in nearby Pemberton Township, N.J.
At some point during the family get together, Headley ran out of the house and into the road, where he was "hit by a pickup truck," according to Bewley. He is being treated for a fractured back, fractures ankles and multiple fractured ribs.
Calls made to both Hadley and Ayres' families by ABC News were not immediately returned. It is also not clear if Headley has obtained a lawyer.
A neighbor of the accused killer said that Headley fled into traffic after admitting the crime to his mother and grandmother, telling the Philadelphia Inquirer, "He confessed to her. He started running down the street 'cause she called the cops on him."
Headley's mother, Judith Headley, also told the paper that her son had "anger issues" and was "suicidal" when he came over Monday night. She said she believed her son knew Ayres through mutual friends.
The relationship between Headley and Ayres is still not clear, according to authorities.
"How they knew each other is still being investigated," said Bewley. "Severall people were interviewed to determine the sequence of events."
Friends and family describe Ayres, who is from Westville, N.J., as a young woman who was looking forward to her future at The University of Rutgers-Camden, where she had just transferred to from Fordham University.
"She should be remembered for being more than just a star softball player, because she was way more than that," Brooke Keenan, the captain of the Rutgers softball team, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "She was a great person."
Fordham Univeristy, where Ayres attended for two years playing softball and winning awards, issued a statement on her death.
"This is a shocking and terrible loss," said Joseph M. McShane, the president of Fordham.
According to Fordham's records, Ayres was named the Atlantic 10 Conference's Rookie of the Year and held the record for the second-most wins ever by a Fordham freshman. She has also been a star athlete before college, at Deptford High School in New Jersey.
Ayres posted a an average two-strikeouts per inning her junior year of high school, and boasted 22 strikeouts in one eight-inning stretch.
Bail is set for $750,000 for Headley.