The female driver of the red 1994 Toyota Camry that Curtis pulled over at 50th Street and E 23rd Avenue was gone. So was the passenger believed to have shot the officers after they tried to arrest him on an outstanding warrant.
Their disappearance would set off a massive manhunt in a city where another officer died in the line of duty just 10 months ago.
An estimated 200 people from local, state and federal agencies joined the search. Armored vehicles rolled into the command center. Police cars raced down 50th Street to chase each tip, and officers arrived at an apartment complex with guns drawn.
By day's end, the gunned-down officers — one a married father of four young sons, the other a married father-to-be — were dead at Tampa General Hospital.
Investigators for hours questioned and then released the driver, 22-year-old Cortnee Nicole Brantley, with no charges Tuesday night. The shooting suspect — identified as Dontae Rashawn Morris, a 24-year-old felon with a lengthy rap sheet — remained on the loose early this morning.