Paulette and Carl Everett spent four days searching for their missing 12-year-old son, left home alone one night while they attended a meeting.
Hours after he disappeared, they had received a ransom call demanding $500,000 in $100 bills, police said. They refused to pay.
On Sunday, the body of Samuel McKay Everett was found off a highway near Baton Rouge, La., 250 miles away. Searchers were directed there by a family friend after he was charged with kidnapping the boy.
The initial evidence suggests Hilton Lewis Crawford masterminded a kidnapping scheme to pay off debts totaling $300,000. He and his wife had filed for bankruptcy protection in May.
Authorities did not say what led to Crawford’s arrest Friday. The next day, the 56-year-old security guard told them about the body, saying he wanted “to get this off my chest,” but he said he did not kill the boy, Sheriff Guy Williams said.
Williams said he didn’t believe the family’s failure to pay the ransom led to the boy’s death.
The woman suspected of making the ransom call, Irene Flores, 52, was arrested Saturday at her Houston home. She once worked for Crawford at a security company he used to own.
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