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Woman recounts finding abducted boy

Reporter Steve Kilar caught up with the woman who spotted the 8-year-old boy was was abducted Monday evening and found this morning in a vacant rowhouse. Police also charged a suspect in the case, and continue to look for his accomplice.

Steve wrote:

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The story continues:

Darrick had been walking with friends near his home in the 300 block of Gwynn Ave. at about 6:30 p.m., when, witnesses told police, he was taken by someone driving a green Ford Taurus Monday night, Baltimore police said. Tuesday morning he was found unharmed in the 300 block of Lyndhurst St., about a half-mile from his West Baltimore home, said Agent Donny Moses, a police spokesman.

"He was hungry," said Jones, who said that Darrick told her that he was left alone in the vacant house while he was sleeping. When he awoke and realized he was alone, Jones said, he escaped. "The little boy, to me, he was brave."

Darrick called his grandmother from Jones' home and police were notified. Jones, who has lived on Lyndurst for over a year, said she did not know that the house where Darrick was being held was vacant. No one ever entered or left the house, said said.

Police have arrested 20-year-old Nathaniel Booker and charged him with kidnapping, kidnapping a child under the age of 16, reckless endangerment, first and second degree assault, false imprisonment, and extortion. Moses said detectives are still "actively searching" for Raheem Taylor, 21, as a possible accomplice in the abduction.

A light green, newer model Ford Taurus with two people inside stopped near Darrick and his friends, Moses said. One of the people inside the car got out, grabbed Brown and threw him into the trunk before the vehicle sped away, he said. The car had not been located by Tuesday evening, police said.

Police said the suspects are not related to the boy, but Moses said the abduction was not random. He said the boy was targeted and that his abductors made a ransom demand. Police declined to comment further about the motivation for the kidnapping. Tuesday afternoon police were inspecting the vacant home were Darrick was found.

A law enforcement source who is not authorized to speak about the case said the abduction is related to drugs. The ransom demand, the source said, was for drugs and tens of thousands of dollars. Police are trying to learn more about the boy's family, who were not previously on the radar of city law enforcement, the source said.

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Taylor was found guilty of drug distribution in 2009 and sentenced to three years in prison. Booker was recently released from prison where he was serving a five-year sentence for armed robbery.

Darrick's extended family gathered Tuesday afternoon at the boy's Gwynn Avenue home to celebrate his safe return.

"He seems to be doing very good," said Darrick's cousin LaTonya Blue. "He's just very, very exctied to see his family, know he's safe and secure."

Blue said that the family was trying not to discuss the abduction with Darrick in too much detail. "We just wanted to keep it as normal as possible for him," Blue said. "He's very outgoing, playful. He seems to be the same type of kid he was before everything happened."

City Councilwoman Helen Holton, whose district includes the area where the abduction took place was disturbed by the news. "We live in different times," she said. "When I grew up, when we went out to play, the door wasn't locked, and the neighbors were on watch. I'm just in shock."

Holton said police had not communicated with her about the incident, but that she saw the Amber Alert on the beltway while driving home.

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