ELLENWOOD, Ga. (AP) — A 14-year-old Georgia girl abducted in a home invasion robbery was found alive on Wednesday after a wide search by several law enforcement agencies, and two suspects were in custody, police said.
Ayvani Hope Perez had been taken from her suburban Atlanta home early Tuesday after authorities said armed robbers broke in, demanded money and jewelry and were told there was none. Authorities have said the robbery and abduction appeared to be random.
Clayton County Police Chief Gregory Porter said the girl was found in a nearby community, Conyers, and has since been reunited with her family.
“She’s in good health, she’s being evaluated as we speak,” Porter said.
Wildrego Jackson, 29, has been charged with conspiracy to kidnap. The police chief also said that Juan Alberto Contreras-Rodriguez, a 40-year-old Mexican national, has been arrested on immigration-related charges.
He did not elaborate further.
It was not immediately known if the two men had lawyers. Henry County sheriff’s records indicate that Contreras-Rodriguez was arrested on drug trafficking charges in December of 2012, but the charges were later dropped.
He and Jackson were not the men identified in police sketches released, FBI Special Agent Rick Maxwell said. Investigators are still looking for tips about those two men identified in the sketches, Maxwell added.
When asked at a news conference whether the suspects in custody knew Ayvani and her family, he said only that “we have not determined the relationship between those people.”
The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted Clayton County police in the search.
The two men first identified by authorities, described as wearing black clothing and armed with handguns, pried open a back door of the home in the Ellenwood area around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, demanding their valuables, authorities said.
Police said the armed men fatally shot the family’s dog during the home invasion.
The family had moved in about a month ago and apparently didn’t know the suspects, authorities said.
Ayvani’s mother had her daughter and her 15-year-old son hiding inside the home, but the intruders were able to find them, police said in a statement. The men abducted Ayvani with no explanation, police added.
The crime occurred on a cul-de-sac in Ellenwood, a small community about 10 miles southeast of Atlanta populated by two-story homes, police said.
On Tuesday evening, more than 150 people had gathered in a circle and held hands in prayer at a candlelight vigil at a high school.