A 14-year-old girl abducted after robbers invaded her suburban Atlanta home early Tuesday was found alive just a day later. Two of the alleged kidnappers are in police custody, authorities say.
Ayvani Hope Perez was forcefully taken by two gunmen who pushed their way into her family’s Ellenwood, Ga., home at about 2:15 a.m Tuesday. As the assailants burst into the house, the girl’s mother tried to hide her teenaged children, but Perez was taken as they demanded money and jewelry, Clayton County police said. When they got nothing from her mother, they shot the family dog and took Perez. But just over 24 hours later, Perez was found in a nearby suburb. Authorities say the girl has been reunited with her family, but have not revealed the circumstances of her recovery, only noting that she’s in “good condition.”
Police said the family had only recently moved into the home and that they didn’t know the kidnappers.
The kidnappers reportedly demanded a $10,000 ransom for the girl’s return. Overnight, Perez’s family had been trying to raise the money, though the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported it’s rare for abductors to demand money when they are not known to their victims.
The two alleged abductors, identified as Wildrego Jackson, 29, and Juan Alberto Rodriguez, 40, have been arrested, Clayton County police chief Greg Porter told Channel 2 Action News.
Once a Levi’s Call alert was issued, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the FBI were able to aid in the search for Perez. Police released sketches of the two kidnappers Tuesday afternoon, setting up checkpoints across the state. Police believe the men in the sketches may still be at large. Porter said Perez was ultimately found in Conyers, Ga., just 15 miles from the scene of the abduction.