A Florida woman and her friend have been indicted, charged with allegedly trying to abduct the woman’s grandfather
The Union County Grand Jury has indicted Breanna Nickole Whitmer, 22, of Palm Bay, Florida, and Gage Tylor Whaley of West Melbourne, Florida.
Whitmer is charged with conspiracy, abduction and vandalism. Whaley is charged with vandalism and abduction.
“The belief is that he was allegedly abducted for financial motivation,” said Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips.
Deputy Chief Tony Brooks of the Marysville Division of Police said that police received a call at 2:42 p.m., Aug, 18, from Prestige Gardens, a rehabilitation and nursing facility at 755 S. Plum St. The caller said a man broke through the home’s glass front door and removed a 65-year-old man.
According to court documents, witnesses said the man “kicked-in” the front door glass. Additionally, a hammer was found near the entrance.
Police said the suspect, later identified as Whaley, didn’t try to hide his face or identity from witnesses or potential cameras. The caller said the man got into a gold Jeep Cherokee and drove away.
“While the officers were responding to the scene, officers spotted the suspect vehicle,” Brooks said.
The vehicle was pulled over near the intersection of Sixth and Chestnut streets in Marysville. Brooks said Whaley, the victim and a third man were found in the vehicle. He said Whaley and the other man were arrested. They were not armed at the time of the arrest.
Phillips said that while the third man was in the car, there is no indication he was involved in the plan.
The victim was transported to Memorial Hospital and released to a guardian.
Whaley had “lacerations as a result of breaking through the glass door,” Brooks said, adding that he did not want medical attention.
Brooks said Whaley had a Florida driver’s license, which helped lead to the granddaughter. He said the suspects “knew him, but they were not related to him.”
Phillips said investigators went through the Whaley’s phone and social media, determining that Whaley was friends with Whitmer, the man’s granddaughter.
“Apparently the victim had received some money,” Phillips said.
The man asked nursing home staff members to reach out to family he hadn’t been in contact with. That list included Whitmer, who hadn’t been connected with the grandfather for more than five years.
When the staff contacted the woman, she and Whaley allegedly began to plan.
“Law enforcement believes there was a financial motivation behind this,” Phillips said, adding that because the case has not gone to trial, he cannot release details about how the pair intended to get the man’s money.
If convicted, Whitmer could face as many as seven and a half years in prison. Whaley could face as many as six years in prison.
...For the full story, select an option below.