A Reading woman was sentenced to 28 years in prison for kidnapping a teenager whose mother owed her $500 for crack cocaine, federal authorities said today.
Grace Marie Perez-Martinez, 27, and an accomplice, Samantha Conrad, also of Reading who was sentenced last year, took the 14-year-old as the victim walked home from school in October 2011. Once inside the car, Perez-Martinez beat the teenager and threatened to kill the unidentified victim, saying, "You see this [gun] right here; if I don't get my money you may not be going home to mom."
The mother of the teenager enlisted the help of Reading police to make ransom payments to Perez-Martinez.
After the first $500 ransom was paid, Perez-Martinez drove to Philadelphia to buy PCP, or phencyclidine. Police had captured on video Conrad picking up the first ransom payment from the mailbox of the victim's mother's home.