Brother of kidnapped teens appears in court; says siblings were held for ransom in drug dispute

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March, 4, 2015) -- Stanley Pernell provided new details into the kidnapping of his younger siblings. He says his half-sister, Whitney Blackwell, sparked the entire series of frightening events after she stole thousands in cash from her drug dealer boyfriend in Detroit. He appeared in court Thursday, where a judge set his bond at $250,000 surety/$25,000 cash. If he bonds out, he'll be on home detention with GPS monitoring. A not guilty plea was entered.

Emma and Aaron Blackwell were taken from their home Monday morning by several armed men. Pernell says they were being held for ransom.

"I was under the impression that in 24 hours $43,000 needed to be in Miami, Florida," said Pernell. A statewide Amber Alert was issued when teenagers Emma and Aaron were taken. "Hopefully it is over. I don't know what happened to the money or anything like that," said Pernell.

Whitney Blackwell admits to stealing $43,000 from her boyfriend "Jay," but court documents say she stole $120,000 in drug money, thousands of pills and a kilo of cocaine.The kidnappers called Pernell several times demanding the missing money. Pernell says he even got to talk to his brother Aaron.

"When I was talking to my little brother, they said they were going to cut off their fingers if they didn't get their money on time," said Pernell.

Whitney Blackwell led Pernell to a house where she had stashed some of the drug money. Pernell entered a home on 1500 block of Goodlet Avenue in a desperate attempt to collect the money. He broke in through a side window he says. Court documents say Parnell left with $100 and a bag of weed. However, when investigators conducted a search warrant they found large amounts of cash throughout the house and a bag filled with Blackwell's identification cards and drugs.

Police were conducting surveillance on Pernell and later pulled him over for failing to obey traffic laws. He was originally charged with burglary and drug possession. He ran from police while he was in handcuffs because he was scared for his siblings.

"I actually went to go look for the money. She told me to go into a house and look for the money," said Pernell.

"I knew I wasn't going to be in Miami in 24 hours. My little brother and sister might not be here tomorrow if that's the case. I took off and that wasn't the smartest thing to do," said Pernell.

Aaron Blackwell was found tied up in the back of this car after a high speed chase in Detroit. His fingers were cut and he required stitches. Emma Blackwell told investigators her captors gave her $200 to take a cab home from Ohio.

A total of six people have been charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

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