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Nursing student kidnapped, killed by doctor ex in murder-suicide spanning 3 states

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic abuse, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233.

A Michigan doctor kidnapped his nursing student ex-girlfriend, shot her in the head at an Illinois truck stop then took his own life in Iowa, officials said. 

Surveillance video captured Dr. Justin Wendling, 26, murder Gina Bryant, 25, Oct. 13 after she tried to flee. 

“It’s with a heavy heart that we write this post,” Bryant’s best friend, Charlotte Jolly, wrote on Facebook. “The family has suffered an unspeakable and tragic loss due to domestic violence.”

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Gina Bryant, 25, was killed by her ex-boyfriend, Dr. Justin Wendling, in La Salle, Illinois, Oct. 13. (Facebook)

Bryant left work Oct. 12 for her lunch break and did not return, according to the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office.

Her concerned co-workers began receiving “odd text messages” from her phone, and her boss reported her missing.

An investigation revealed that Wendling, who she broke up with two weeks prior, was waiting for her when she returned home for lunch in Macomb, Michigan.

A neighbor’s security camera captured Wendling, a gynecology resident at Ascension Genesys Hospital, leading Bryant to his car at 1:42 p.m. He likely used a gun and handcuffs, La Salle Police Chief Michael Smudzinski told MLive. 

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gas station with red awning.

Gina Bryant, 25, was shot to death near the fuel pumps at the Flying J Truck Stop in La Salle, Illinois, by her doctor ex-boyfriend, Justin Wendling. (Google Maps)

Hours later at about midnight, Wendling pulled over at Flying J Truck Stop on Civic Road in La Salle, Illinois, for gas, but the pump did not appear to be working properly, so he went inside the store, Smudzinski told the outlet.

Bryant, a student at the University of Michigan-Flint, stepped out of the car and took off, prompting Wendling to exit the convenience store and tackle her to the ground. 

The pair briefly struggled before he shot her in the head near a row of fuel pumps in front of witnesses.

As Wendling fled in his SUV, he called his parents and confessed, officials said. Police sent out a description of his SUV, launching a nationwide manhunt. 

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Gina wearing a blue dress and sitting on a log in the woods.

Dr. Justin Wendling killed his ex-girlfriend, nursing student Gina Bryant, Oct. 13 at the Flying J Truck Stop in La Salle, Illinois. (Facebook)

At about 11:45 p.m. Oct. 13, his car was spotted by police at a rest stop off Interstate 80 in Bettendorf, Iowa.

As officers approached, he shot himself.

Two weeks earlier, Bryant had ended her 11-month relationship with Wendling and moved out of his apartment in Grand Blanc Township, her older sister, Angelica Gintner, told The Detroit News.

Bryant told her sister and mother that he had been abusing her for months.

“She was very beautiful, down-to-earth, giving woman,” Gintner told the local news site. “She could brighten up a day with just her smile. She’d give you the shirt off your back. She was caring and compassionate.”

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Gina Bryant show in photos with her friends.

Slain Michigan nursing student Gina Bryant poses with friends. (Facebook )

The dean of the University of Michigan-Flint’s nursing school released a statement mourning the tragic death of Bryant.

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“There are truly no words to fully capture the anguish that losses like this cause our community,” Cynthia McCurren said. “Gina was an extraordinary young woman with much ahead of her.”

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