Family: Ransom demanded for teen's safe return

Updated:

Loading

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - As investigators continue to search for a teen who was kidnapped after an early morning home invasion, a ransom has been demanded for her safe return.

Suky Guerrero, an aunt of the victim, said Tuesday that family members were trying to get the money together to secure the release of Ayvani Hope Perez. Guerrero said she did not know where the family would get the money but she understood they were still waiting for it to be delivered late Tuesday.

A Levi's Call alert was posted for Perez, who authorities said was abducted from her family's Ellenwood home Tuesday about 2 a.m.

Police released sketches of the two armed men they believe took her during the home invasion on Brookgate Drive.

Police said the mother tried to hide her two children, but the suspects found the family, along with the family's dog, and demanded money and jewelry.

Clayton County police spent the day searching for Ayvani, and the GBI and the FBI are now assisting in the investigation.

"We've been receiving numerous tips on various hotlines," said Lt. Marc Richards with the Clayton County Police Department.

Sources told Channel 2's Tom Jones authorities were in contact with the suspects, but were limited on what details they would release.

"At this time, the investigation is fluid and I am not at liberty to discuss all the pertinent information about the investigation," Richards said.

Channel 2's Amy Napier Viteri spoke with people inside the Perez home Tuesday night. They said Ayvani's mother had to be taken to a nearby hospital after several fainting spells throughout the day.

Viteri also learned that Ayvani's father had flown in from El Paso, Texas Tuesday after learning about his daughter's kidnapping. Family members said he is the one the kidnappers called demanding money for Ayvani's safe return. A family friend told Channel 2 Action News a family member briefly talked to missing girl over the phone. The FBI will not confirm or deny that report.

A police mobile command center is set up across the street from the house.

So far, family members have not said much about the incident.

Meanwhile, loved ones and classmates gathered Tuesday night for a candlelight vigil in hopes of a safe return for Ayvani.

The gathering took place at Dutchtown High School.

"I've been crying all day at school. It's just really sad to know that actually happened to her," one of Ayvani's classmates told Thomas.

Dozens of Ayvani's friends and their parents showed up, all praying for answers.

Ayvani went to middle school in Henry County before recently moving.  Among the tears and hugs, Nina Richardson stared at a picture of her and Ayvani

"Everytime I look at it, I just get scared," Richardson said.

The young teens are all facing questions that no one has the answers too.

"I don't get it, it's confusing," friend Sydnei Shakir said.

"I don't know why they would take just her," said Savannah Thornton.

A friend of Perez told Channel 2's Richard Elliot she's praying for the teen's safe return.

"I want to tell her that I love her," said Perez's friend and classmate Ariana Soeun. "I hope that she comes home because she knows everybody misses her."

Soeun said she and Perez have been friends for years, and just graduated middle school together. She described her friend as a typical teenager who likes to talk a lot and get together to do each other's hair and makeup.

"She was a sweet girl," said Soeun's grandmother Doris Kinsey. "She came over to our house during prom season, and her and Ariana got dressed for the prom. We took pictures. She seemed like a very sweet girl."

Other Stockbridge students described school Tuesday as anxious, tense and emotional for many of Perez's friends.

"I saw people coming out of the counselor's office crying," said classmate Brittany Draughton.

"I've seen a lot of people crying and depressed," said classmate Shareena Grenan.

Draughton and Grenan said students were taking to social media sites like Instagram to spread the word about their missing friend.

Soeun said she had to leave school Tuesday because she couldn't handle her emotions any longer. She just hopes to see her friend again very soon.

"Just pray for her that she'll be OK and hope nothing's going to happen to her," said Soeun.

Police are asking anyone with information on the kidnapping and home invasion to call 770-477-3513.