Kidnapped Girl's Mom Linked to Suspect

They were once arrested together for drugs

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 19, 2013 2:04 AM CDT | Updated Sep 19, 2013 6:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – Authorities are still keeping quiet about just how they managed to find a kidnapped girl "at a residence" in Conyers, Ga.; they're calling it "hardcore police work," WSB-TV notes. In the meantime, however, new information is emerging about the circumstances of the kidnapping. One of the suspects had previously been arrested along with victim Ayvani Hope Perez's mother, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. Juan Alberto Contreras-Ramirez—called as Contreras-Rodriguez in the kidnapping arrest—was nabbed in a 2012 drug trafficking case involving the seizure of 500 pounds of marijuana; Perez's mom, Maria Corral, and several others were also busted.

Corral's charge was quickly dropped; in January, charges against Contreras-Ramirez were, as well, following a home search deemed unconstitutional. As for Corral, "I think she just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time," says Contreras-Ramirez's lawyer in the drug case. She was "talking in the driveway" with Contreras-Ramirez when the arrests occurred. As for Perez, "she looked tired, but not shaken up" upon arriving home, says a neighbor. "She was smiling. A look of relief was all over her."

This photo provided by The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children shows an undated photo of Ayvani Hope Perez.   (AP Photo/National Center for Missing & Exploited Children)
Well-wishers with "Welcome Home" balloons head to 14-year-old Ayvani Hope Perez's family home in the Brookgate subdivision of Jonesboro, Ga. on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Ben Gray)
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