Toddlers Safe After Homicide Suspect Shoots Self

Published On: Oct 14 2011 02:32:38 PM EDT   Updated On: Nov 23 2004 03:58:37 AM EST

A man suspected of killing his wife shot himself in the head Tuesday hours after he disappeared with his three young daughters, the Polk County Sheriff's Office said. The girls were found safe.

Raymond Gans, 27, and his children were found south of Mulberry. His condition and details surrounding their discovery were not immediately released.

The children -- Jordyn and Meikayal, both 3, and Bailee, 1 -- and their father had been the subject of an intense hours-long hunt after Jennifer Gans was found dead late Tuesday morning.

The Polk County Sheriff's Office said Raymond Gans killed his estranged wife at her home and then picked the girls up from their babysitter's house.

Authorities issued an Amber Alert for Gans, who was driving a 1997 white Chevrolet Astro van. Gans had called his mother and told him he had killed his wife and had the girls with him, sheriff's Col. Grady Judd said.

Gans has at least one prior arrest for aggravated battery and the couple had a court order to stay away from each other, authorities said.