A man wanted in connection with the death of his girlfriend was found dead Wednesday in a wooded area in Baltimore, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.
Norris Dail Sr., 26, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Baltimore police told WBAL-TV.
Police issued an arrest warrant for Dail last month, one day after 26-year-old Cynthia Aviles was found dead in her Southside apartment and their 4-year-old son was reported missing. The boy was released to family members the next day.
Aviles' family expressed both relief and disappointment that Dail was found dead.
"My niece never got justice," Belinda Aponte told News4Jax."My niece is gone and she's never going to come back. Nobody deserves to die the way she did. Unfortunately, the family can never forgive this man, even if he's dead."
Police searched for Dail for two weeks, until the search ended Wednesday. A family statement on Thursday expressed gratitude for those who worked on the case.
"We are relieved to know that he would no longer hurt anyone else," Aviles' family said in a statement sent to News4Jax. "Unfortunately, we will never know why he did it. From my sister and the family, we would like to thank all of you and the U.S. Marshals and JSO for all you have done to capture Norris Dail Sr. Now Cynthia Aviles can rest in peace."
The morning of Sept. 28, officers went to check on Aviles' welfare at the L’Esperanza Apartments off University Boulevard, just south of Beach Boulevard. That afternoon, homicide detectives announced that they had found a woman dead and that foul play was suspected. They said they were looking for Dail, who was seen leaving the apartment with his 4-year-old son about 10 p.m. on Sept. 27.
Once homicide detectives learned that Dail, the 4-year-old boy and Aviles' Mitsubishi Galant were missing, they asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to issue an Amber Alert. Within the hour, the child was found safe in Baltimore, where the couple was from, and the alert was canceled.
Aviles' aunts, Luz Aponte and Belinda Aponte, told NewsJax that the 4-year-old boy was dropped off with Dail's mother in Baltimore on Sept. 28 before being returned to his mother's family. The family said they were doing everything they could to make sure life is as close to normal for Norris Jr. as possible.
I-TEAM: Dail had history of domestic violence
Aviles had a contentious relationship with Dail that involved domestic violence, restraining orders and custody hearings.
Aviles' aunts sat down with News4Jax in Baltimore last month. They said their niece's relationship with Dail had turned rocky in recent years, something that Aviles' mother saw firsthand.
"My sister felt in her heart that this was coming. Her last visit to Florida, last month, she saw her daughter different," Belinda Aponte said.
Based on court records in Jacksonville and Maryland, the I-TEAM learned that Aviles had filed for custody of the boy in April 2015. The next month, Dail was charged with domestic violence.
Aviles requested a protective order, but it was denied in May and again in July of 2015. Over that summer, the couple was in mediation in the custody case. In August of last year, the couple was given joint custody. That same day, Aviles changed her Facebook status to say she was in a relationship with Dail.
In the couple's case, both injunctions were denied for lack of evidence.