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Search Continues For Two Teenaged Girls Abducted at Gunpoint

Aired August 1, 2002 - 11:04   ET


DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: We do need we need to get back to the breaking news story we're following in Southern California, in Lancaster, and again, that is the search for two teenaged girls abducted at gunpoint as their boyfriend's tied up with duct tape.

I want to Bring in right Brian Lendman, deputy sheriff with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department, joining us from the Lancaster area.

Deputy, good morning. Thank you for joining us.


KAGAN: I think we're close to the top of the hour, perhaps some new viewers joining us, so if you could just start at the beginning about what we know that took place early this morning in Lancaster.

And by the way, just so you know, deputy, we have live picture up of the Quartz Hill where I believe the abduction took place.

BRIAN LENDMAN, L.A. CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: OK, what we know at this point, is sometime between 1:00 and 2:00 a.m. this morning a lone male suspect, believed to be Hispanic, based on his accent, and 30-40 years old, arrived at an area at Avenue M and 47th Street west, an unincorporated area of Lancaster known as Quartz Hill.

He arrived in a vehicle that was reported to have been taken in a carjacking earlier in the Las Vegas area. He exited his car, and approached a parked vehicle which was occupied by Tamera Brooks, who is a female black 16-year-old, and her male companion, and forced that couple from their car at gun point.

He then proceeded with that couple to another parked car which was occupied by Jacqueline Marris, who is a female white 17-year-old, and her male companion, and proceeded to force that couple from their vehicle at gunpoint. He then tied up at least one of the males, and then kidnapped the two female victims in a vehicle that belonged to one of the male companions by the name of Joshua Brown. That vehicle is described as a 1980 white and brown Ford Bronco with a gray camper shell, with a California license plate of 1AIZ962, and he left that location with the two female victims in that vehicle, and that vehicle, the victims and the suspect are still outstanding at this time. KAGAN: All right, deputy, let's start with the beginning of this crime spree, and that is in Las Vegas, where the original vehicle was carjacked. What have you been able to learn from Vegas police?

LENDMAN: I don't have any information at this point regarding the circumstances surrounding that incident, other than that the car was taken in a carjacking. I don't have information as to the exact time or even the date that that car was taken. All we know is that the car was taken there, and it was left at the scene of the kidnapping.

KAGAN: Let's follow it then to the scene of kidnapping. Anything in particular which would have drawn this kidnapper to this location?

LENDMAN: No, this situation is unfolding as we speak. We had several investigators at the scene, as well as representatives from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department crime lab which are searching the vehicle for any type of evidence or clues which might lead investigators to a motive in this kidnapping.

KAGAN: And as far as we can tell, the kidnapper didn't know any of these young people, either the girls or the guys.

LENDMAN: That is correct. At this point, we don't have any evidence or any information that would lead us to any type of relationship between the suspect and the victim.

KAGAN: In fact, The two victims, or the four victims as the case might be, they don't know each other. I mean, the two different couples don't know each other.

LENDMAN: Again, at this point, I'm not privy to that information. Whether that's known at the scene, or not I'm not sure, but the information that I have, I don't have any relationship between the two victims at all.

KAGAN: Explain how extensive this search is. As I understand it, there really isn't a good indication as to which direction the guy took the girls.

LENDMAN: That is correct. And that is why we have released this as a amber kidnapping alert, which is a statewide alert system. All the information has been broadcast to every law enforcement agency in the state. It has been broadcast via all of our media outlets, and roadside signs will be broadcasting the information, too. If that vehicle is out there, we are hoping that someone would spot the vehicle and the victim and/or the suspect and would contact law enforcement immediately.

KAGAN: We're putting it up one more time. Once again, it's a 1980 white Ford Bronco, California license plate 1AIZ962.

We're doing our part here deputy. Since it's CNN, this of course is going across the country. Folks not familiar with Lancaster, if they think they have some information perhaps spotted across state lines, who should they call?

LENDMAN: They could contact us here at the L.A. County Sheriff's Department headquarters, and the phone number is area code 323-526- 5541, and we would be able to pass that information on to the investigators.

KAGAN: Got it.

Deputy Sheriff Brian Lendman with the L.A. County Sheriff's Department. Sir, thank you for the latest information and good luck with that search.

We've been following this story with the help of KTTV reporter Tricia Takasugi who was with us earlier from Lancaster, and joins us once again.

Tricia, we got a pretty thorough update there from sheriff's deputy. Anything you can add to that?

TRICIA TAKASUGI, KTTV REPORTER: Daryn, it just continues to be a hub of activity here at the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) substation. They have launched this extensive search, and they are relying on the public. They are hoping that someone out there will spot this vehicle or spot these two young girls and call right away. That's the information they have right now. They are also trying to see if they can get fingerprints off of the suspect's vehicle that was left there at the scene.

And to recap, again, these two young girls were taken just about 2:00 in the morning from an area sort of known as the lover's lane area as they were sitting in their cars. And the two young male teens who were accompanying the girls were restrained. They were tied up with duct tape and with plastic ties, and they instructed not to look at the suspect at all. And they were also told if they complied with the suspects orders, nothing would happen. The boys did their best to do that. However, the suspect then went and took the girls, and put them in a vehicle that belonged to one of the teenagers, that 1984 Ford Bronco which everyone is looking for, and he drove off with them.

So at this time, once again, they are looking for that vehicle. The suspect description is quite vague, male Hispanic, 30-40 years old. And they know from the vehicle that he drove up to the scene in, that that was a stolen vehicle, stolen out of Nevada a couple of weeks ago, and they're trying to get information from that crime scene, to see if, indeed, they're dealing with the same suspect there.

KAGAN: And, Tricia, as we -- maybe we can put the girls pictures up one more time. Anything else we've been able to learn about them, two beautiful young women. We can tell that just by their pictures. I think I saw an earlier picture of Jacqueline and she was in a cheerleader's outfit. They both look like all-American girls. Anything else we've been able to learn about them besides there ages and what they were wearing?

TAKASUGI: They have not given us very much background information regarding the girls we've seen. What we -- supposed to be friends and family members gathering together at the sheriff's substation. We have asked to get a comment from them, but at the moment, as you can imagine, they are quite distressed and not willing to talk to the media.

We did have updated bit of information regarding Jacqueline Marris. She is the girl you saw in the cheerleading outfit. We are told by investigators that her hair has been died jet black, and in the photo, it looks somewhat brown, but that is the latest bit of information we have.

KAGAN: Important to update her look, as people will be out there on the search for them as well.

Tricia Takasugi, thank you so much for the latest.





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