By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
The national manhunt continues for two men wanted for the alleged rape and kidnapping of two sisters, ages 13 and 14, in Bowling Green. Two other men have been apprehended for the crime.
Simon Juan Thomas, 24, from Guatemala, was arrested last week in Bowling Green. David Ramos Contreras, 27, from Mexico, was apprehended Thursday by the U.S. Marshals Service, in Lubbock, Texas.
The two suspects remaining at large are Juan Garcia Rios Adiel and Arnulfo Ramos.
The four men are charged with the rape and kidnapping of the two girls on June 28, according to Bowling Green Police Lt. Dan Mancuso.
The sisters were staying at Days Inn, in Bowling Green, with their mother. The address listed for the family is Bowling Green.
The four men were also staying at the hotel at the time.
Police were notified after the mother took the girls to Wood County Hospital.
Thomas was arrested by Bowling Green Police the next day. He was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and is being held in the Wood County jail with a $50,000 bond. Warrants were issued for the other three men.
Police received a tip that Contreras was seen at the Walmart in Spring Meadows, in Lucas County, last Saturday, June 30. A store video captured images of Contreras walking with two women. Police were able to locate the women and determined they were not connected to the suspect, Mancuso said.
“They believed he needed some assistance,” Mancuso said. “They believed they were doing a good deed helping someone out.”
Information was then developed placing Contreras in Lubbock, Texas, after investigators for the U.S. Marshals Service and Bowling Green Police followed leads developed over the last two days.
Contreras, who was found hiding under a bed in Lubbock, will be extradited back to Ohio.
“He will come back to Wood County to face the charges,” Mancuso said.
Nationwide warrants have been issued for the remaining two men at large, and numerous law enforcement agencies, including ICE, are working to find them.
The case has received national attention, being posted on CNN news earlier this week.
Bowling Green Police Division is receiving calls from across the nation, Mancuso said.
“We still are getting numerous tips,” he said this morning. “We’re getting tips from other areas.”
Bowling Green police are following up on local leads, and contacting other law enforcement on tips reported elsewhere in the country.
“We still are receiving some tips that they are in the area,” Mancuso said of Adiel and Ramos. “We can’t rule anything out at this point.”
Mancuso was unaware of the suspects’ criminal history.
According to BG Police Chief Deputy Justin White, all four suspects were found to have “fraudulent paperwork” documenting their status as immigrant workers. Contreras had previously been deported, White said.
Mancuso and White said the local charges are BG Police Division’s concern.
“We’re not charged with investigating the status of immigration. That’s not our primary focus,” Mancuso said. “Obviously, the rape and kidnapping charges are what we are investigating.”
Police don’t believe there was any connection between the victims and the suspects other than they were all staying at the hotel.
“The information we’re receiving is the suspects were living at the Days Inn as well as our victims,” White said.
Investigators did speak with all four suspects early in their investigation but at that time the victims were still meeting with Wood County Job and Family Services staff and had not been interviewed by police, White said.
Anyone having information related to the whereabouts of the suspects is encouraged to contact the Bowling Green Police Division at 419-352-1131, Wood County CrimeStoppers at 1-800-54-CRIME, or their local law enforcement agency. Callers may remain anonymous and if information results in the arrest and conviction of a suspect, they could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.
Anyone with information may also contact the U.S. Marshals Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force at 1-866-4-WANTED or text keyword WANTED and the tip to TIP411 (847411). Tipsters may remain anonymous and a cash reward may be available. The U.S. Marshals Service is currently offering up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of the remaining two fugitives.