More to teen’s kidnapping than first meets the eye
9/20/2013, 6:01 a.m.
ELLENWOOD The abduction of 14-year-old Ayvani Hope Perez from her Ellenwood home in the early morning on Sept. 17 may not have been as random as police first believed.
Police records show that Ayvani’s mother, Marie Corral, was arrested with one of the suspects in a 2012 drug raid just south of Atlanta.
Vincent Picard, a spokesman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, confirmed Juan Alberto Contreras-Rodriguez’s identity Thursday.
“He is the same person in our custody that was arrested on drug-trafficking charges,” Picard said.
Contreras-Rodriguez, a 40-year-old Mexican national, and Wildrego Jackson, 29, of Atlanta were arrested Sept. 18 after the teen was found unharmed in Conyers, about 25 miles from her home.
Authorities suspect two other men – portrayed in widely circulated police sketches after the abduction – are still on the run.
Ayvani was taken from her Brookgate Drive home just south of the DeKalb County line.
The girl’s relatives say two men, wearing black clothing and armed with handguns, pried open the family’s back door about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday.
Corral and her two children – Ayvani and her 15-year-old brother – hid inside the home, but the intruders found them, shot the family’s dog and took Ayvani in a gray Dodge van.
They also said the men demanded a $10,000 – then $100,000 – ransom for the teen’s release.
Clayton County Police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the FBI were involved in the search for Ayvani.
During a Sept. 18 news conference, Clayton County Police Chief Gregory Porter said the teen was reunited with her family that day.
“She’s safe,” he said. “She’s being evaluated as we speak. This is a good day for the Perez family, but more important for Ayvani.”
FBI Special Agent Rick Maxwell said the captured suspects were not the two men portrayed in police sketches.
“We believe those two suspects in the drawings are still at large,” Maxwell said.
Police said the family moved into the two-story house about a month ago.
Contreras-Rodriguez is being held on immigration-related charges.
Jackson, the second man arrested in the kidnapping, was charged Wednesday with conspiracy to kidnap. Arrest records paint him as a career criminal, arrested multiple times on charges of assault, child cruelty, sale and distribution of cocaine, marijuana possession, obstruction charges, and possession of a firearm while a convicted felon.