JOHNSTON, R.I. — A 2-year-old boy kidnapped during a double homicide Sunday morning was found wandering the streets of Providence last night, apparently unharmed, according to Johnston police.
Isaiah Perez had been the subject of a wide-ranging hunt by federal, state, and local officials after he went missing from the scene of the killings of two unidentified people in the Providence suburb of Johnston.
Two suspects were taken into custody in connection with the case and could appear in a Providence court as soon as Monday morning, said Johnston police Deputy Chief Daniel Parrillo.
Parrillo said a Providence officer on patrol noticed an unattended toddler near the Chad Brown housing developments around 8:30 p.m. Parrillo said police are unsure how the boy ended up there or how he spent the nearly 16 hours between his kidnapping and eventual discovery.
“It was quite a distance from where we expected to find him,” said Providence police Lieutenant Joe Donnelly. “We didn’t put it together right away that it was the child we were looking for. It took a bit of work to figure out it was the boy.”
Parrillo said Isaiah appeared to be in good health but was being evaluated at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence.
Malcolm W. Crowell, 22, was detained at his workplace in Fall River, Mass., early Sunday afternoon, Parrillo said in a press conference at the Johnston Police Department. Later Sunday afternoon, police in Providence arrested Daniel Rodriguez at a residence there. Parrillo said Rodriguez was born in 1985, but was unsure of his exact age. Police did not say where the men were from or release any other details about them, but Parrillo said they were suspects in the homicides and the kidnapping.
Providence police said they expect Rodriguez will be arraigned in Providence District Court Monday.
Many questions about the case remained unanswered, including the identity of the victims and their relationship, if any, with the suspects, or how they died.
The incident began with a 911 call at 5:20 a.m. Sunday reporting a disturbance at 3 Oaktree Drive in Johnston.
When police arrived, they discovered two bodies on the floor, along with two older children who were physically unharmed. The victims’ identities will not be released until an examination by the medical examiner is complete, Parrillo said.
The home, a recently renovated two-story building with a well-kept lawn, is located in a forested suburban neighborhood abutting a lake. It was surrounded by yellow police tape Sunday. Members of a Johnston police crime scene unit searched for evidence, including dusting for fingerprints on a deck railing near a small window that had been knocked off its extending arm.
The relationships among the victims, the toddler, and the suspects are unclear, Parrillo said. “There’s a lot of moving parts when it comes to relationships. There are several different families involved, lots of friends and families involved,” he said.
Before Isaiah was found, a large group of concerned friends and family members, some in tears, had gathered at the town’s police station, where they conferred with officers and waited for news. The two older children who were in the house Sunday morning were initially brought to the station, but later left with family members, according to Parrillo.
“I’m just glad the child has been recovered safely. That was our main goal from the beginning,” Parrillo said. “It’s a very sorrowful day that two people lost their lives this morning, but if there could be a happy ending, the happy ending is the child’s been located.”
Gal Tziperman Lotan
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