The mother of three fugitive siblings who allegedly got in a shootout with a Florida police officer during a high-speed chase, then robbed a bank in Georgia, is urging her children to turn themselves in.
Barbara Bell of Palatka, Fla., told ABC affiliate WFTS-TV in Tampa that she's worried for their safety and with every passing moment feels that the chances of a peaceful ending are quickly fading.
"Only mom knows what good people you are inside," Bell, who didn't want to show her face, said. "Please prove me right and everybody wrong by doing the right thing now and turning yourselves in."
Officials say the trio appear to have communication with their mother, sending her a text saying: "There's a time for all of us to die."
Law enforcement experts said it seems unlikely the trio will follow their mother's wishes.
"It's going to be a violent ending unless you catch them by surprise," former FBI agent and ABC News contributor Brad Garrett said.
The hunt for the three siblings began Tuesday when an officer attempted to pull over the siblings for speeding along state road 54, in Zephryllis, just north of Tampa, police said.
Ryan Dougherty, 21; his sister Lee Grace E. Dougherty, 29; and half-brother Dylan Dougherty Stanley, 26, were allegedly driving as fast as 100 mph in a 2006 Subaru Impreza with New York State tags.
A high-speed chase ensued, during which the three allegedly sprayed the police car with at least 20 shots, finally escaping when a bullet hit a tire of the officer's car.
The officer was not injured but police said they found 20 "high caliber" shell casings along the route.
A few hours later that same day, about 200 miles North in Valdosta, Ga., the Dougherty clan allegedly robbed a bank wearing masks and armed with AK 47s, firing shots at the ceiling. They escaped with an undisclosed amount of money, police said.
All three of the siblings have troubled pasts, with 20 felonies among them. Ryan Dougherty just registered as a sex offender last week, after being convicted of sending explicit texts to an 11-year-old girl.
Lee Grace Dougherty's Flickr page may offer a window into her mind, where there is a post that reads, "I love to farm and shoot guys and wreck cars. I'm a redneck and proud of it."
"It's a thrill thing, I think, for her," Garrett said. "Probably for all three of them at this point."
Police have also found an elaborate bunker, constructed out of two 40-foot storage containers, under an abandoned house where the trio reportedly once lived.
Still, their mother is begging them to surrender peacefully.
"Your lives are not over. You've made some bad mistakes, but so far no one has been physically harmed," Bell said. "The only safe thing, the only right thing, the only good thing to do is to turn yourselves in."
Authorities Hunt for Fugitive Florida Siblings, Search Intensifies
Bell told The Associated Press her son Ryan was upset over the terms of his probation because he would not be able to see his son who is due to be born within the coming week.
"That could have triggered it," Bell said of the crime spree.
Ryan Dougherty had cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet Monday, one day before the police chase and bank robbery.
Pasco County Sheriff spokesman Dough Tobin said Dougherty was sentenced to 10 years probation for sexual battery and has 13 felonies on his record.
There is still no indication at this time as to where the three fugitives may be heading. The FBI now has digital billboards showcasing photos of the trio in several states stretching from Texas to New York.
Law enforcement officials have repeatedly said the suspects should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who sees them or their is asked to call the FBI at (404) 679-9000 or the Valdosta Police Department at 229-293-3145. If you wish to remain anonymous you can call 229-293-3091.