Two masked men broke into an Ellenwood home early Tuesday morning, demanding money and jewelry from a mother of two.
When the woman said she had none, they took her 14-year-old daughter instead. Family members are now saying that those men have demanded a $10,000 ransom for Ayvani Hope Perez, according to media reports.
The incident unfolded around 2:15 a.m. at a home in the 3800 block of Brookgate Drive, according to Clayton County police.
Officers were told that there was a prowler at the home, police spokesman Officer Phong Nguyen said.
The mother told police two men dressed in black and armed with handguns, pried open the back door of her home.
The mother hid her 15-year-old son and her daughter while she faced the men alone.
“The intruders demanded money and jewelry from the mother,” Officer Ngyuen said. “The mother told the intruders that she did not have any money or jewelry.”
One of the suspects then shot the family dog that was running around and barking during the incident. They were then able to find the two teens and abducted the 14-year-old girl.
Later the family said the suspects demanded a ransom, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Still, it’s rare to have suspects, who police said were strangers to the victims, kidnap and make ransom demands during a home invasion.
Ayvani’s aunt, Ms. Suky Guerrero, told the AJC Tuesday that family members were trying to get the money together to secure the teen’s release.
Law enforcement officials have confirmed the ransom demand, the paper reported. But they have not released any details on when and how the demand was made.
Ms. Guerrero said the family was still waiting for the money to be delivered late Tuesday.
The aunt said she took her brother, Ayvani’s father, Mr. Alberto Perez, 47, to the airport in El Paso, Texas, to fly to Atlanta on Tuesday morning.
“My brother doesn’t have a clue. He doesn’t have any money like that.”
Mr. Perez, she said, wanted to be by the side of his ex-wife, Ayvani’s mother, Ms. Maria Perez, the paper reported.
“He was devastated, not knowing what to do,” Guerrero said.
Clayton County Police said the home invasion and subsequent abduction seemed random.
“It didn’t appear that they knew each other,” police spokesman Officer Phong Nguyen said of the suspects and victims. “They just moved in about a month ago.”
The FBI and GBI are assisting police in the search for Ayvani, and authorities are asking for the public’s help to locate the men who drove away in a gray Dodge.
More than 150 people gathered in a circle and held hands in prayer at the candle-light vigil at Dutchtown High School in Hampton Tuesday evening.
Among them were some of her classmates who were holding posters with Ayvani’s name and pictures of them with her. Others lived in the neighborhood.
“It’s very scary,” said Breyana Walker, a 16-year-old junior at Morrow High School.
“I’m so terrified,” said Walker, who lives just down the street from Ayvani. “I feel like I need someone here with me,” she said. “It could happen to anybody. I don’t know what to do.”
The GBI has released sketches of the suspects and is asking anyone with information on the girl or the suspects to call (770) 477-3513 or Clayton County police at (678) 610-4781.
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