Saturday, May 18, 2024

Texas Woman Is Accused of Kidnapping a Migrant Woman’s Baby After Offering Her a Ride

A migrant woman from Honduras has accused a Texas woman of kidnapping her baby. According to the federal criminal complaint, the migrant woman had crossed the border into the U.S. when she was offered a ride by a woman in El Paso, Texas, who subsequently took her baby and asked for a ransom.

Last month, the suspect, Jenna Leigh Roark, was arrested and charged with hostage-taking, aiding, and abetting. The court documents don’t list an attorney for Roark.

The FBI had been alerted of the case on September 26th, when the St. Petersburg Police Department contacted them. The Honduran national who reported her missing baby and extortion attempts was living in Florida at the time.

“Jenna would periodically send victim pictures, and videos of son and victim and son would speak on the phone two to three times a week,” the complaint reads.

The migrant woman said that Roark told her she was called “Jane” and that she offered her a ride to the station. During the drive, Roark told the migrant woman that she would keep her son, and the two women exchanged phone numbers.

In September, Roark was arrested by the Texas Public Safety Department in connection with a different incident. Shortly before she was taken into custody, she had stopped at a motel and picked up three other undocumented individuals.

When Roark was arrested, one of her daughters was in the vehicle’s front seat holding an infant boy, the FBI recalled in the complaint. Roark told the officers that the boy was her other daughter’s child. That daughter arrived shortly after but claimed the child belonged to her fiancé.

Due to the conflicting statements given by the family, the boy was placed in the care of Child Protective Services while the investigation took place. More than a week later, officials realized the baby belonged to the migrant woman in Florida.

NBC News