BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A cyber connection turned into a real world abduction, as police say a crime committed in the Midwest ends with two Maryland brothers locked up.
Police say the men drove to Missouri and abducted a 12-year-old girl. They also say this case is proof that the Amber Alert system works, as it helped them find the girl less than 24 hours after she vanished.
What started in cyber space, ended in Wentzville, Missouri, where police say they captured a Maryland man… wanted for abducting a 12-year-old girl.
His older brother, who police say was his accomplice, later turned himself in in Columbus, Ohio.
“Apparently, this has been an ongoing internet conversation for sometime,” said Wentzville Police Chief Kurt Frisz. “And finally they acted on it.”
Police say William L. Dela-Cruz and Jason A. Dela-Cruz drove 15 hours from southern Maryland to Blue Springs, Missouri.
Their Maryland license plates were spotted there late Saturday night, when witnesses saw the girl get into their car.
The same license plate number flashed across cell phone screens Sunday morning in an Amber Alert.
Two customers at a Wentzville cafe remembered the alert, later pointing police to 22-year-old William Dela-Cruz and the victim, Apple Briscoe, who were sitting on the restaurant’s patio.
“That’s what it’s for. That’s exactly what it’s for,” said Eric Hodson. “They’re on the highway. I get them all the time when I travel from state to state.”
Investigators believe the trio may have been heading back east, stopping in Wentzville on the way.
The victim is now back home with her family.
William and his 25-year-old brother Jason Dela-Crus are still in the Midwest, and still behind bars.
“I think it’s a testament to how well the Amber Alert system works,” said Chief Frisz. “People do pay attention. If it wasn’t for those phone calls we received, we wouldn’t have been able to recover this child.”
Because this case crossed state lines, it now falls on the FBI to investigate.
No word yet on what charges the brothers will face or if they will be extradited to Maryland.