Ayvani Hope Perez Amber Alert: Missing Georgia teen found alive; Wildrego Jackson and Juan Alberto Contreras-Rodriguez arrested, more suspects sought

1:54 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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Ellenwood, Ga. (WXIA/USA TODAY) -- Ayvani Hope Perez, the Georgia teenager who was missing for two days, has been found alive and well. Two men were taken into custody, but the FBI says the two suspects from the police sketch remain at large.

The confirmation came from Clayton County Sheriff's officials, who say the two suspects in custody are currently being held on unrelated charges. CNN quotes the FBI as saying Ayvani was dropped off by the abductors and picked up by police.

"She is safe," said Clayton County Police Chief Greg Porter in a Wednesday afternoon news conference. He said that she has been reunited with her family, and her condition is being evaluated by medical personnel.

Chief Porter said Ayvani was found in Conyers, about 25 miles from her Clayton County home.

One of the suspects under arrest is Wildrego Jackson. Police describe the 29-year-old as a career felon who is on probation.

The FBI says the second suspect, 40-year-old Juan Alberto Contreras-Rodriguez, is a Mexican National and is currently being held by Homeland Security.

However, investigators say the two men in custody are not the same suspects who are believed to have carried out the actual kidnapping.  Composite sketches of those men were released on Tuesday, and police say those suspects are still at large.

Officials gave no details on Ayvani's rescue, or how many more suspects could possibly be involved in her abduction.

STORY: Police seek 2 armed robbers who took Ga. teen from home

Earlier on Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported the two armed gunmen who abducted the 14-year-old had demanded a $10,000 ransom. 

Ayvani was abducted from her family's home when her mother told the intruders she didn't have money or jewelry to give the intruders.

Ayvani's aunt, Suky Guerrero, told the AJC Tuesday that family members were trying to get the money together to secure the teen's release. The newspaper confirmed the ransom demand with a law enforcement official close to the investigation who was unauthorized to speak publicly

The FBI has joined the investigation into the disappearance of Ayvani, who police say was snatched from her family's home about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday by two armed intruders.

Guerrero took her brother, Ayvani's father, 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."

Perez, she said, wanted to be by the side of his ex-wife, Ayvani's mother Maria Perez.

"He was devastated, not knowing what to do," Guerrero said.

Meanwhile, friends and classmates of Ayvani held a prayer vigil Tuesday to spread hope for her safe return.

Late Tuesday, a large group gathered in front of Dutchtown High School in Hampton, Ga., for a prayer vigil. Many of the missing girl's friends were classmates at Dutchtown Middle School before Perez moved to attend Stockbridge High.

Friends burned candles and held signs with pictures of the missing teen.

"I don't get it," Sydney Chaquir told WXIA-TV. "It's not clicking in my mind why somebody would do this to her. It's like a dream."

A Facebook page called Please BRING Ayvani Hope Perez HOME SAFE was created to help locate Ayvani. As of Wednesday, the page had nearly 5,000 "likes."

A nationwide AMBER Alert was also issued for Ayvani before she was found safe.

Clayton County Officer Phong Nguyen said the robbers pried open a back door about 2:15 a.m. Ayvani's mother tried to hide her daughter and 15-year-old son, but the gunmen found them. 

After their mother said she had neither cash nor jewels, one gunman shot the family dog, but did not harm Ayvani's mother or brother. The dog was taken to the vet, but it did not survive.

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