JONESBORO, Ga. (AP) — In an apparent random home invasion, robbers broke in, demanded money and jewelry and when they were told there was none, abducted a 14-year-old girl and killed the family dog, authorities in the Atlanta area said.
Police continued searching for Ayvani Hope Perez on Wednesday, a day after her abduction.
The FBI and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation were assisting Clayton County police in the massive search for the teen. Police were stopping cars Tuesday and checking them during the search.
Two men, described as wearing black clothing and armed with handguns, pried open a back door of the home in the Ellenwood area around 2:15 a.m. Tuesday, demanding the items, Clayton County police Officer Phong Nguyen said. The home invasion was apparently random, Nguyen said told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It didn’t appear that they knew each other,” he said of the suspects and victims. “They just moved in about a month ago.”
Ayvani’s mother had her daughter and her 15-year-old son hiding inside the home, but the intruders were able to find them, police said in a statement. The men abducted Ayvani with no explanation, police said.
The girl was last seen being taken from the home in a gray Dodge, police said.
The crime happened on a cul-de-sac in Ellenwood, a small community about 10 miles southeast of Atlanta, police said. The neighborhood is on the northern edge of Clayton County, just south of the DeKalb County line.
Tuesday evening, more than 150 people gathered in a circle and held hands in prayer at the candlelight vigil at Dutchtown High School in Hampton, the Atlanta newspaper reported. Many teens there — holding posters with Ayvani’s name and pictures of them with her — were her classmates at the school.