DECATUR, Ga. — Police are searching for suspects in a deadly Decatur kidnapping.
Authorities say a man and a woman were kidnapped early Saturday morning and found just a few hours later handcuffed and each shot in the head. Their families have pulled together a $15,000 reward for anyone who can tell them who did it.
The family says Jeronta Brown and his fiance, Briana Brooks, took their 8-month-old baby and 14-year-old niece out for a meal. When they got back to their Decatur home, several men jumped them.
The children were able to get away, but Brown and Brooks were put into the back of a van.
Brown’s aunt, Myesha Brown, said the men tried to get inside the house before leaving.
"The guys walked up, started ringing on the doorbell, beating on the door, yelling, ‘FBI, FBI,’" Brown said.
Instead of opening the door, Brown said they called 911. Police did show up, but Brown said they didn’t take the kidnapping seriously.
"We were unable to get the kidnappers what they wanted due to Dekalb County thinking that this was a joke, this was something Jeronta set up," she said.
Brown said a family member got a call shortly after the kidnappers took off, demanding $150,000.
By daybreak, a driver 17 miles away in northwest Atlanta spotted Brooks and Brown lying in the street.
Jerota Brown was dead. Brooks, seven months pregnant with the couple’s second child, was alive. Doctors were able to deliver the baby girl by C-section. Brown says the infant is doing fine, but Brooks’ condition remains uncertain.
DeKalb County police were unavailable to talk about the crime and their response to it because of the holiday weekend.
This woman spoke about how she had been visiting her sister in Juba when the fighting broke out, and had been unable to return home. To make matters worse, she had left her older children behind in her village, because she thought it would just be a short trip. She had not seen them in nearly a year. As I was interviewing her, she kept a very resigned, unsmiling, faraway look on her face, which can be seen in the previous post. But when we finished, my translator asked her what village she was from. When she told him, he pulled out his phone. “I’ve just been to your hometown on an aid mission,” he said, “I can show you photos.” As he scrolled through photos of her village, her expression suddenly changed.
(Tongping Internally Displaced Persons Site, Juba, South Sudan)