Reporting Mike Hellgren
BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The search for the man behind the abduction of an 8-year-old in West Baltimore continues. Charging documents reveal new clues in this bold and bizarre plot.
Those court records show one of the men arrested in this kidnapping plot lived just a few doors down from the young victim. The alleged mastermind is at large right now.
Mike Hellgren uncovers new information, including more on demands for ransom.
Police are searching for 21-year-old Raheem Taylor. They say he wanted money from the 8-year-old’s dad, so he hatched a plot to kidnap the little boy.
New charging documents WJZ obtained reveal–through a witness account–that Raheem Taylor was likely the mastermind behind the scheme to abduct 8-year-old Darrick Charles Brown. It’s an act that has stunned neighbors in West Baltimore.
“Why did they have to do that to a child? It’s just ridiculous,” said a neighbor.
The kidnappers left the little boy in an abandoned house on Lyndhurst Street. He lived a few blocks away on Gwynn, where he was grabbed on the sidewalk.
WJZ has learned police centered their search on another house in the same block, sending a Swat team there. It’s home to Nathaniel Booker, the one man arrested so far in the plot.
According to those charging documents, Booker used his personal phone to demand ransom.
Police say they used the cell phone signal to track him to a house, where they found that phone right underneath his chair.
After his arrest, Booker told police Taylor contacted him after something went wrong in the plot and asked him to make the calls to the boy’s dad.
Investigators questioned the dad, who received numerous calls and texts demanding more than $500 in cash in exchange for little Darrick.
“This young man was targeted for this incident,” said Agent Donny Moses, Baltimore City Police.
WJZ‘s media partner, The Baltimore Sun, reports the kidnappers also wanted drugs.
While such a bold kidnapping is rare, it’s not unheard of in our area. In 2008, police scoured a house in Baltimore County for clues, after six armed, masked men abducted two teenagers who were later safely returned.
Unanswered questions persist in this latest snatching off the street, including was the FBI involved and how does the victim’s family know the suspects?
“We don’t feel like they just arbitrarily picked the little kid off the streets and somehow got in contact with his family,” Moses said.
Both Booker and Taylor have lengthy arrests records.