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Thursday, October 22, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kidnappers Sought Drugs, Money For Child’s Return

Associated Press

The five people who abducted an Oregon toddler here last weekend demanded 5 kilos of cocaine as well as $50,000 for the boy’s safe return, according to court documents.

“The demand for narcotics raises our suspicion that there could be drugs involved” in the case, said police spokesman Capt. Doug Chambers.

King County authorities declined comment on any drug connection in a related Seattle-area case.

Four men were arrested in King County late Sunday and early Monday in the boy’s abduction. A fifth suspect was being sought, and additional information on that individual “will be available in the next few days,” Franklin County Prosecutor Steve M. Lowe said in a news release.

The child - 14-month-old Seferino Moreno of Corvallis, Ore. - was returned unharmed to his father on Monday.

Three of those arrested - two Seattle men and a 16-year-old boy - were returned here Monday and jailed pending investigation in the Moreno abduction.

The fourth - identified Tuesday as David Cruz, 23, of North Bend - has also been implicated in an April 8 abduction in the Seattle area, King County police spokeswoman Joanne Elledge said.

Cruz was ordered held on $500,000 bail at a hearing Tuesday afternoon, said spokesman Dan Donohoe in the King County prosecutor’s office. Authorities face a deadline today for filing charges against Cruz. He was being held for investigation of kidnapping and felony eluding of police - a charge related to a high-speed chase Monday through Burien, SeaTac and Auburn. The little boy was recovered at the end of that chase.

Cruz was picked out of a photo montage Saturday - the day of the Moreno abduction - by a 32-year-old woman abducted in south Seattle last week by five people, Elledge said.

“We had an idea who our five suspects were,” Elledge said.

It has not been determined whether the other three men arrested in the Oregon toddler’s abduction are suspects in the woman’s abduction, she said.

“That remains under investigation,” Elledge said.

The woman was abducted in the White Center district and then confined at a house in the International District south of downtown. She escaped, but her captors, unaware she was free, telephoned her family with a demand for a substantial ransom.

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