NEW: An affidavit says Ayvani Perez's family was called hours after abduction
NEW: Authorities later tied cell phones linked to the crime to one suspect
He and another man, tied to a reported drug arrest involving Ayvani's mother, are detained
Two other suspects in the kidnapping may still be at large
The family of Georgia teen Ayvani Perez got a call hours after she was abducted demanding money and drugs for her safe return, according to a criminal affidavit filed Thursday.
Kidnappers did ultimately free Ayvani – without getting anything in return – leaving her at an aunt’s house in Conyers, Georgia, and ending a harrowing 36-hour ordeal that began 25 miles away with a brazen pre-dawn break-in punctuated by gunshots, threats and screams.
While there’s no dispute young Ayvani was abducted against her will, there are questions as to whether it was a random act. The affidavit’s claim that her kidnappers asked for drugs, in addition to money, in their phone calls may speak to this point.
A man tied to this week’s kidnapping, Juan Alberto Contreras-Rodriguez, was one of five arrested in a 2012 raid in Henry County, south of Atlanta, in which authorities found 500 pounds of marijuana, Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents told CNN affiliate WSB-TV. One of those arrested with him – on a marijuana trafficking charge, which was later dropped – was Ayvani’s mother, Maria Corral.
Corral was at the center of this week’s drama in the community of Ellenwood, where two men toting handguns pried open her back door around 2 a.m. She hid in a closet with two of her children and their dog before the intruders realized where Corral and the children were hiding, and kicked in the door, according to the federal affidavit filed to support a complaint and arrest warrant against one of the suspects.
The men demanded money and jewelry from Corral, but she refused. Around that time, the dog Ayvani had been holding jumped out of her arms and began barking – at which point one of the suspects shot the animal, who later died.
Ayvani was eventually forced at gunpoint down the stairs, then eventually out the back door, over a fence, then behind several houses with the two kidnappers, an FBI agent wrote in the affidavit. And the men did not turn back when Corral went outside screaming her daughter’s name.
Later that morning, a man phoned Ayvani’s family several times telling them that the 14-year-old girl was unharmed, and making his demands. Authorities were able to trace that phone to a man named Wildrego Jackson.
Jackson’s girlfriend later said she’d loaned him a gray Dodge Challenger she’d rented, which was similar to one spotted by neighbors around the crime scene that Tuesday morning, the federal affidavit said.
The two kidnapping suspects pictured in sketched released this week by FBI investigators remain at large. But two others have been arrested in connection with the case: Contreras-Rodriguez and Jackson, a 29-year-old Atlanta man.
Jackson is being held on charges of conspiracy to kidnap a minor female. The criminal complaint alleges he used a cellular phone in commission of this crime: In fact, the affidavit ties him to two phones used around the abduction site.
Contreras-Rodriguez, a 40-year-old Mexican national, is being held on immigration-related charges.
Authorities haven’t detailed how these two men were arrested, beyond Clayton County Police Chief Gregory Porter saying it happened “through hardcore police work.”
Porter focused more on the fact young teenager was unharmed, and back home.
“This is a good day for the Perez family, but more importantly for Ayvani,” he said. “She is safe.”