Parents, teen argued over curfew
ASHLEY M. HEHER The Associated Press
Her interests included Jesus, soccer, her youth group and her dog. He was preoccupied with a new computer system, his hairstyle and deer hunting.
David G. Ludwig, 18, and Kara Beth Borden, 14, shared their favorite pastimes on Web postings, apparently kindling an adolescent romance. But their parents disapproved of the relationship because of their age difference.
That disapproval apparently cost Kara's parents their lives.
Yesterday, the two Pennsylvania teens were captured by police in Indiana who suspected Ludwig of killing his girlfriend's parents at their home near Lititz, Lancaster County, in an argument over her curfew. Kara was in his car after a police chase that ended in a crash.
Authorities confronted the two after he crashed his parents' car head-on into a tree in Belleville, Ind., some 600 miles from where the killings took place. Kara was not hurt, authorities said.
Not sure of girl's role: Police were questioning Ludwig but had not spoken with Kara. Because of her age, Indiana and Pennsylvania law requires a relative, guardian or attorney to be present.
Investigators said it was not immediately clear whether the girl was abducted or went along willingly, but they were operating on the assumption she was kidnapped.
"It's completely insane, completely insane," Lancaster County Coroner G. Gary Kirchner said. "This isn't a Romeo-and-Juliet deal. This is far worse than that."
Although some friends say the two were secretly dating, police have not clarified the nature of their relationship.
Authorities said Ludwig shot Kara's parents, Michael F. and Cathryn Lee Borden, early Sunday after they and their daughter argued about her curfew when she came home late.
An alert for the girl was issued across the East, and police in Pennsylvania and Indiana investigated reported sightings of the pair as they made their way west in a red Volkswagen Jetta.
Indiana truck stop: Indiana State Police spokesman 1st Sgt. Dave Bursten said authorities received a report yesterday morning of a vehicle matching that description at a truck stop near Fort Wayne. Troopers went to the area, but the car was gone.
Information about the car was broadcast to police statewide, Bursten said, and troopers spotted it around midday on I-70 in Belleville, about 20 miles west of Indianapolis.
Ludwig got off the interstate and led them on a five-mile chase at speeds of 90 to 95 mph on a two-lane state road.
Trooper David Cox said Ludwig was "very reckless and very dangerous at that point," meeting vehicles head-on and running them into a ditch.
Bobby Poteet, 36, a former volunteer firefighter who witnessed the final accident, said he heard sirens and watched the three cars speed by, before Ludwig's car careened into a tree.
"They were flying," he said.
After officers pulled Ludwig from the car, Kara got out and was frantic, screaming and crying, Cox said.
No weapons were found in the car. Police do not know why the pair were in Indiana.
Extradition hearing: Pennsylvania authorities will be in Indiana for an extradition hearing, unless Ludwig waives those proceedings.
He faces preliminary charges in Indiana of criminal recklessness and resisting law enforcement, authorities said. Police in Pennsylvania issued an arrest warrant for Ludwig on charges of criminal homicide and kidnapping.
Web sites maintained by the pair featured adolescent banter and photos of the two teens. Kara was among those who responded when Ludwig recently wrote about his haircut. "Yes your hair is flipping long. And I like it," she wrote.
Ludwig posted dozens of self-portraits, including some posing with what looks like a sword. He had displayed 20 images labeled "Hunting 2004" in which he and other teenage boys held up beer bottles and grinned beside the carcasses of freshly killed deer.
Before police caught up with them, Kara had last been seen wearing a shirt that advertised Pillar, a Christian music band. Just last month, Ludwig posted to his site the lyrics to "And the Rest Will Follow" by the Christian band Project 86: "You want me to put it on the line/And give yield to you this time/See but I won't compromise and I realize/It's my time to rise."
He described himself as a student in the medical field, saying his interests included spending money, "pulling stupid pranks, having soft air gun wars" and claimed expertise in computers, volleyball, movies and "getting in trouble."
Isaac Gregory Heesen, a 14-year-old boy from Columbia, Pa., met Kara through a drama group he participated in with her older sister. He described Kara as "outgoing" and "very strong."
"Her sister, Katelyn, was saying she was kind of being rebellious lately and she has some of the wrong friends," Heesen said yesterday. "She was kind of going away from her family or parents or whatever, and not being right with the Lord."