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Ayvani Perez abducted during home invasion has been found alive

11:04 AM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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USA TODAY

ELLENWOOD, Ga. -- UPDATE: The 14-year-old Georgia girl who was abducted from her home early Tuesday by two gunmen has been found alive in Clayton County, WXIA-TV reports.

Two armed gunmen who burst into a home and took a 14-year-old girl Tuesday has demanded a $10,000 ransom, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has reported.

NBC News reports that the kidnappers have since raised their ransom demand to $100,000.

Now, more than 24 hours after Ayvani Hope Perez was abducted from her family's home when her mother told the intruders she didn't have money or jewelry to give the intruders, her family is trying to raise the money.

Ayvani's aunt, Suky Guerrero, told the AJC Tuesday that family members were trying to get the money together to secure the teen's release. The newspaper confirmed the ransom demand with a law enforcement official close to the investigation who was unauthorized to speak publicly.

The FBI has joined the investigation into the disappearance of Ayvani, who police say was snatched from her family's home about 2:15 a.m. Tuesday by two armed intruders.

Guerrero took her brother, Ayvani's father, Alberto Perez, 47, to the airport in El Paso, Texas, to fly to Atlanta on Tuesday morning. "My brother doesn't have a clue. He doesn't have any money like that."

Perez, she said, wanted to be by the side of his ex-wife, Ayvani's mother Maria Perez.

"He was devastated, not knowing what to do," Guerrero said.

Meanwhile, friends and classmates of Ayvani held a prayer vigil Tuesday to spread hope for her safe return.

Late Tuesday, a large group gathered in front of Dutchtown High School in Hampton, Ga., for a prayer vigil. Many of the missing girl's friends were classmates at Dutchtown Middle School before Perez moved to attend Stockbridge High.

Friends burned candles and held signs with pictures of the missing teen.

"I don't get it," Sydney Chaquir told WXIA-TV. "It's not clicking in my mind why somebody would do this to her. It's like a dream."

A Facebook page called Please BRING Ayvani Hope Perez HOME SAFE has been created to help locate Ayvani. As of Wednesday, the page had nearly 5,000 "likes."

A statewide AMBER Alert was also issued for Ayvani , who is 4 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs 93 pounds and was last seen wearing blue-and-gray Star Wars pajamas and a blue-and-gray "Super Hero" shirt.

On Tuesday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation released sketches of the suspects, who were driving a gray Dodge or Chevrolet Impala.

Clayton County Officer Phong Nguyen said the robbers pried open a back door about 2:15 a.m. Ayvani's mother tried to hide her daughter and 15-year-old son, but the gunmen found them. After their mother said she had neither cash nor jewels, one gunman shot and wounded the dog but did not harm Ayvani's mother or brother.

USA TODAY

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