Alabama couple sentenced to 27 years in jail for snatching Mexican girl

The Associated Press
June 01, 2005

A judge has convicted an Alabama couple of abducting a girl while she was
playing in her front yard outside this northern Mexican city and
sentenced both to 27 years in prison, local media reported.

Michael and Kimberly Ray, of Robertsdale, Ala., were accused of
kidnapping 7-year-old Liliana Flores last summer, luring her to their van
with cookies in Santa Catarina, a Monterrey suburb.

The sentence against them came Monday night, according to Monterrey’s El
Norte newspaper. Neither an attorney for the Rays, nor prosecutors
assigned to the case could be reached late Wednesday night to confirm the
report.

In the weeks following his arrest, Michael Ray confessed to abducting the
youngster, but insisted his wife was not involved. The victim, however,
identified Kimberly Ray as the chief perpetrator.

In her testimony during the case, Liliana said Kimberly Ray had offered
her cookies and then money and that when she approached the van, Kimberly
Ray took her by the neck and pushed her inside.

A neighbor who saw the couple speed away hopped in a taxi and gave chase.
She quickly flagged down police, who detained the couple.

Family members said Michael Ray has struggled with mental problems
throughout his life and that he had received treatment for anger
management.

Kimberly and Michael married in January 2004 and both apparently were
ordered to seek mental counseling after police were repeatedly called to
their home for domestic disturbances.

The case made headlines last year across northern Mexico, where rumors
that organized U.S. bands cross the border looking to kidnap Mexican
youngsters often circulate.

Copyright © 2002 The Tuscaloosa News

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