INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The abduction of two teenage siblings who were taken to Michigan and later released unharmed is believed to be drug-related, and the teens’ alleged abductors “specifically targeted” the youths, Indianapolis police said Tuesday.
Aaron Blackwell, 16, and his 13-year-old sister, Emma Blackwell, were abducted at gunpoint early Monday from their Indianapolis home by three men, prompting police to issue an Amber Alert saying the teens were in “extreme danger.”
The siblings were released later Monday unharmed, but many questions about their abduction remained unanswered Tuesday.
Detroit Police Sgt. Eren Stephens said Monday night that three suspects are in custody in connection with the abduction, but police have not released any information on the identity of those individuals.
Indianapolis police said in a statement Tuesday that the siblings are now in the care of child welfare authorities and will remain there “until detectives can determine they are no longer in danger.”
Lt. Richard Riddle said Tuesday afternoon that while the youths’ abduction remains under investigation, detectives who are working with Detroit police and the FBI believe it was drug-related and that the two children were targeted for abduction.
“The detectives have surmised that this is related to a narcotics issue and the children were specifically targeted in Indianapolis as a result of this narcotics relationship between individuals in Detroit and individuals in Indianapolis,” he said.
“That’s the investigation lead the detectives are continuing to follow up on.”
Indianapolis police said Monday that the three suspects in the abduction freed Aaron Blackwell after a chase by authorities in the Detroit area.
Early Tuesday, Indianapolis police said Emma Blackwell had “returned home safely and is unharmed.”
Riddle said officers received a 911 call to check on her welfare based on social media reports that caller had seen saying the teen had returned home to Indianapolis. Officers were dispatched to the home where the teens were abducted from and found her there “safe and unharmed,” he said.
Riddle said he doesn’t know if the teens’ relatives ever called police to report Emma Blackwell’s return. He said Indianapolis police were continuing to interview her.
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