JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Late Tuesday afternoon, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office identified Chad Absher as the man wanted in connection with the murder of Ashlee Rucker and shooting of her sister, Lisa Rucker, on Monday night in their Hyde Park condominium.
Absher, 32, who News4Jax was told is the ex-boyfriend of Ashlee Rucker and suspected by the family of domestic violence against her, was named a suspect by JSO. Police said he should be considered armed and dangerous.
Absher was arrested in 2006 for stalking a previous ex-girlfriend. He pleaded guilty and served three years in prison. That woman and another woman with the same last name both obtained domestic violence injunctions against him last month.
"I hope that this not only brings justice, but Florida needs some stronger laws to protect the victims," said Jennifer Parang, the Ruckers' oldest sister who lives in New York.
Parang told News4Jax that Absher and Ashlee Rucker had a physically abusive relationship.
"He wasn't just smacking my sister around a bit.," Parang said. "He was beating her like she was a man."
Absher's former landlord, Andy Lomax, said he evicted Absher over a month ago for not following tenant rules, citing an incident with a woman that led to police being called.
"At that point, the neighbors were in fear and I wanted to get him out," Lomax said. "I wanted to get him out of the neighborhood. It's a nice neighborhood."
Before the JSO released Absher's name, a large contingent of police concentrated on an area of 118th Street, near Ringhaver Park. It was believed they were looking for him. They left after a few hours without success.
Former JSO Detective James Brown told News4Jax why Absher could pose a threat to others.
"Depends on his level of trying to avoid capture," Brown said. "(The) more desperate this person gets, the more dangerous he becomes because he starts doing (things) out of desperation. I think, since it was limited to these particular victims, he would have to wait it out. The fact (is) that he’s already committed violence the question is, what more with this person to ensure he escapes justice."
Anyone who has any information about Absher or his whereabouts is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous and receive a possible reward of up to $3,000, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.