Decatur woman accused of kidnapping business owner for $400K ransom

ByTony Reid, The Pantagraph, CNNWire
Sunday, April 3, 2022

DECATUR, Ill. -- Police say a Decatur woman is jailed on charges she kidnapped a flooring company owner after luring him to an abandoned house, pepper-spraying him and then holding him at gunpoint before trying to ransom him back to his family for $400,000.

The man was abducted Thursday morning and escaped hours later after having been restrained with plastic ties with a cloth bag placed over his head. A sworn affidavit from Decatur police said he eventually managed to free himself from the back of a minivan after earlier being moved around several times in the trunk of a car, The Pantagraph reported.

He then fled on foot before walking into a business on North Monroe Street to raise the alarm.

Police had already been alerted and were hunting for the man after being called in by his frightened wife. The kidnappers had allowed him to phone her at 12:35 p.m. to say he was being held for ransom.

"She received a phone call stating that he had been kidnapped, was tied to a chair in a basement, and that the kidnappers wanted $400,000 for him to be released," said the affidavit, signed by Detective James Weddle.

"(She) advised she later received a subsequent call from (her husband) stating that he had actually been kidnapped and was not joking."

The victim had met the woman before as a customer of his business. His description and police investigative work led to her being identified as Ademeko M. Maclin-Carney. The 23-year-old woman was arrested Monday evening after police intercepted her driving her vehicle.The male accomplice, who was armed, was still being sought as of Tuesday night.

Questioned by police about his ordeal, the victim said he had been lured to a house in the 1200 block of East William Street at 10:15 a.m. Thursday after receiving a call from Maclin-Carney who "said she needed some work done."

Weddle said the victim had just been explaining that the house was in too rough a shape to lay flooring when Maclin-Carney blasted him in the face with pepper spray.

"(He) advised a male then came out of a side room and pointed a small pistol at him," said Weddle. "He advised the male told him to to get on the ground, to which he compiled. When he got on the ground, the male Zip-tied his hands and placed a cream colored linen bag over his head to prevent him from seeing."

He was later bundled in the trunk of a car and driven to another unknown address where he was held in the basement. Then he was forced back in the trunk again before being driven to another house and then shoved in the back of the minivan, from which he would eventually escape.

Weddle said he had told his kidnappers before his escape "that he nor his wife would be able to obtain this amount of money."

Police also noted that the house on East William Street where he had been lured was badly damaged by fire Thursday evening; the fire was later determined to be suspected arson by the Decatur Fire Department.

Maclin-Carney was booked on a preliminary charge of aggravated kidnapping. She also faces additional charges of aggravated battery, mob action and criminal damage in a separate incident after police say she used a BB gun to shoot out the windows and glass door of a home in the 1300 block of North Walnut Grove on the night of March 20.

She was also accused of joining in on an assault of the homeowner with three other suspects who punched and kicked him to the ground, leaving him with multiple lacerations and other wounds.

All preliminary charges are subject to review by the state's attorney's office.

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