Kidnapping for ransom foiled by Ramsey County deputies; victim and family reunited
Thursday, the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office announced the arrest of two suspects in connection to a kidnapping for ransom case that took place earlier this week.
Both suspects are in custody and there is no threat to public safety. The suspects have been identified as Jason Tucker, 37, and Hailey Flynn, 21, both from Minneapolis. This was an isolated incident and the victim was reunited with her family, according to the sheriff's office.
A criminal complaint states Flynn picked up the victim on Monday from a residence in Oakdale. Flynn had been very persistent in meeting up with the victim. Before they reached a mile, Tucker popped out of the trunk, choked and pistol-whipped the victim. The victim's head was cut open where Tucker struck her, according to a complaint. The reason for the violence was due to Tucker believing that the victim had sold Tucker's vehicle. He told the victim she had to come up with $5,000 to cover his loss, also adding he wanted to start a new life in Florida. Tucker took $457 from the victim that she had on her during the incident.
Tucker had threatened the victim multiple times that he was going to shoot her. He made her contact people she knew by phone and Facebook to get the money to Tucker, the complaint states. The victim later told police she felt she was being held against her will the entire time she was in the presence of Flynn and Tucker.
According to the sheriff's office, Tuesday morning, deputies were dispatched to an address in Little Canada to speak with a concerned parent. The parent told deputies that a person wearing a bulletproof vest had come to their home and displayed a picture of their daughter with a black and swollen eye. The suspect told the parents that the victim, their adult daughter, had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom.
Other friends and family members had also received messages from the victim stating that she was in trouble and needed to raise $5,000 for her release, according to authorities.
Through the use of technology and exigent circumstance warrants, deputies were able to identify the area where the victim's cellphone was located. Deputies from the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office were joined by the Bloomington Police Department in a coordinated effort to locate the victim. Dressed in plain clothes, deputies and officers responded to the area. The Sheriff's Negotiators Team worked with the victim's family to negotiate with the suspects.
Tucker allegedly told the victim's father he had 25 minutes to show up to Mall of America with money and if he didn't, he would walk the victim to a corner in the parking lot with a silencer on his firearm and shoot her, according to a complaint.
The victim was rescued when one of the suspects left a Bloomington hotel with the victim to retrieve the ransom payment, according to a release. The victim received a medical evaluation and did not require hospitalization.
It was later learned that the victim had been pistol-whipped the previous day, taken to a home in St. Paul and then to the hotel in Bloomington. She was held in the bathroom of the hotel room overnight and threatened at gunpoint while demands were made for money to her family and friends.
The case has been referred to the Ramsey County Attorney's Office for prosecution.