2 arrested in connection to missing Ellenwood girl case

(Photo source: Clayton County Police Department)
(Photo source: Clayton County Police Department)

(WTVM) - A 14-year-old Georgia girl is safe at home 34 hours after she was abducted from her family's home. Authorities say Ayvani Hope Perez was found outside of Atlanta Wednesday in good condition. She was reunited with her family and taken to a hospital to be evaluated.

Police have arrested Wildrego Jackson, 29, and Juan Rodriguez, 40, in connection to the case.

Investigators initially thought the home and kidnapping were random, however the mother of the girl does have a connection with one of the suspects in the case.

One of the suspects was arrested in December and charged with trafficking marijuana, and Perez's mother was also arrested in the marijuana case, but her record was later expunged.

According to a criminal complaint, the suspects demanded drugs and money from Perez's family in exchange for her safe return. An FBI Special Agent says the family received several calls from a man using a blocked number, who eventually said the girl would be dropped off at a relative's house in Conyers, Ga.

They also say they are thankful she was found alive.

"This is a good day," said Chief Gregory Porter with the Clayton County Police. "This is a good day for the family, the Perez family; but more importantly for Ayvani. She is safe."

Ayvani was snatched early Tuesday morning after two men broke into the family's home in Ellenwood.

Police say the two men demanded money and jewelry from Ayvani's mother.

When she couldn't meet their demands, the men shot the family dog dead, and took off with the teenager.

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