Kidnapped Girl Found Alive in Ga.; 2 Arrested
A 14-year-old Georgia girl who was kidnapped two days ago from her home near Atlanta was found alive Wednesday and has been reunited with her family.
Once authorities issued a Levi's Call alert -- Georgia's version of an AMBER Alert -- the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI were able to aid in the search and eventual rescue of Ayvani Hope Perez.
The two alleged abductors, identified as Wildrego Jackson, 29, and Juan Alberto Rodriguez, 40, have been arrested, reports Atlanta's WSB-TV.
In the Georgia girl's kidnapping, Jackson and Rodriguez were armed and pushed their way into the Perez family's suburban home.
The mother reportedly tried to hide her two children, but the men found them, along with the family's dog, and demanded money and jewelry. When the mother said she had none, they shot the dog and allegedly kidnapped Ayvani.
A little more than 24 hours later, Perez was found in a nearby suburb, reports WSB-TV.
Despite the short distance, Perez's abduction still counts as kidnapping. What matters is taking a victim from one place to another against his or her will, or confining the victim to a controlled space.
In Georgia, even slight movement is sufficient.
The Kidnapping Ransom
The kidnappers allegedly demanded a $10,000 ransom for Perez's return. Overnight, her family had been trying to raise the money, reports WSB-TV.
Some kidnapping laws require that the taking or confining be for an unlawful purpose, such as extortion or the facilitation of a crime.
Georgia doesn't require the taking be for an unlawful purpose, but a kidnapper faces much harsher penalties for holding a victim at ransom.
If a jury finds the kidnapping was for ransom, then Jackson and Rodriguez could face life imprisonment if convicted.
According to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, it's highly unusual for abductors to demand money when they are not known to their victims.
But in this case, police said the Perez family had only recently moved into the home and that they didn't know the kidnappers.
The happy ending to Ayvani's abduction is a testament to acting swiftly in the face of a kidnapping. It's every parent's worst nightmare, but when the unthinkable happens, the first steps you take can be crucial.
- Kidnapped Georgia Girl Found Alive (TIME)
- 5-Year-Old Girl Kidnapped; Mom Rams Suspect's Car (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Firefighters Okay After Kidnapping Near Atlanta (FindLaw's Blotter)
- Kidnapping Hoaxes Are No Joke for Cops (FindLaw's Blotter)
You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help
Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.