Pines slaying suspect shoots self after pursuit on I-95, police say

A suspect wanted in the slaying of his girlfriend fatally shot himself Thursday on Interstate 95 as police tried to detain him, officials said.

The suicide on the highway delayed southbound traffic in Palm Beach County for nearly four hours, authorities said.

Pembroke Pines police had been searching for Clifson Cerve, 26, after his girlfriend, Anuska Monique Dillon, 25, was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound to the head in their Pembroke Pines apartment at 2:30 a.m. Thursday, officials said.


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Pembroke Pines police had issued an advisory to law enforcement agencies to try and find Cerve, who witnesses reported had fled in a white Nissan Maxima.

About 1:45 p.m., a Boynton Beach police crime scene investigator saw a vehicle that matched the description of Nissan, police said.

The car entered southbound Interstate 95 at Gateway Boulevard in Boynton Beach. When Boynton Beach police officers tried to pull Cerve over, he refused to comply, they said.

Officers pursued the Nissan until it crashed just south of the Congress Avenue exit in Boca Raton, said Stephanie Slater, spokeswoman for Boynton Beach police.

Cerve was ordered out of the vehicle, but he shot himself instead and died at Delray Medical Center, Slater said.

"He died from a gunshot wound to the head," Pembroke Pines Police Capt. Carlos Bermudez said.

Boca Raton police will investigate the suicide, an agency spokeswoman said.

About 12 hours earlier, officers had responded to a 911 call about a possible shooting in the 1500 block of Southwest 109th Avenue at the Harbour Cove apartments.

In a third-floor unit, Dillon's body was discovered by police in the master bedroom. Dillon's 6-year-old daughter, whose father was not Cerve, was in the home at the time of the shooting.

The child was placed with family members, Bermudez said.

The couple had just moved Saturday into the gold-and-white apartment complex that is on the northeast corner of South Hiatus Road and Pembroke Road.

In the morning, yellow crime-scene tape surrounded the parking lot in front of the entrance to their building as about a dozen family members and friends of Dillon's had gathered at the Pembroke Pines police station to meet with officials.

They said that Dillon was five months pregnant, but declined to talk further about her or be identified.

Police said an autopsy that was to be performed Thursday would discover if Dillon had been expecting a baby, but results were not released.

Before the Nissan was towed from I-95 in Boca Raton, a bullet hole could be seen in the driver's side window. Delays on the highway lasted until about 5:30 p.m.

Though one lane was kept open during the investigation on I-95, traffic was backed up about six miles until the highway was fully reopened, said Sgt. Mark Wysocky of the Florida Highway Patrol.

Staff researcher Barbara Hijek and staff writer Adam Sacasa contributed to this report.

Ltrischitta@Tribune.com, 954-356-4233 or Twitter @LindaTrischitta