Milwaukee child abduction, $100K ransom; man sentenced

Daryl Childress

A Milwaukee man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in a 2020 child abduction on the city's south side.

Daryl Childress, 20, pleaded guilty to kidnapping in February. As part of a plea deal, one count of fleeing/eluding officers was dismissed. 

According to a criminal complaint, the victim, who was 13 years old at the time, was abducted at gunpoint the night of Oct. 12, 2020. 

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The boy was sent to a Family Dollar near 12th Street and Mitchell Street – just a few blocks from his home – to get toilet paper. When he went to leave around 8 p.m., he was met by a group with a gun.

"I walked out, and I put my skateboard down, and I started peddling, and some guy out of a black SUV came out, and he put a gun to my rib and said, 'Come with me,'" the boy, Don, told FOX6 News in 2020.

Don, the boy abducted at gunpoint (October 2020)

Don said there were three men and a woman in the SUV. They then made him call his dad and lie about how many people were there.

"He tells me, 'This is not a game. This is very real. I'm not pranking you or nothing, but seven guys have kidnapped me, and they are going to ask you for ransom money,'" Alexander Cartagena, the boy's father, told FOX6 in 2020.

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The abductors demanded $100,000 and told Cartagena they'd hurt Don if he called police; after consulting a friend, though, that's exactly what Cartagena did.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 13, several hours after the abduction, police found Don unharmed by a Walgreens near Capitol Drive and Teutonia Avenue – nearly six miles from where he was abducted.

According to a criminal complaint, officers watched surveillance video from the Family Dollar and other cameras in the area. The video showed the SUV following Don. Later, officers responding to the area of Capitol and Teutonia after the boy was found spotted the SUV. 

Abduction investigation leads to police pursuit in Milwaukee, suspect(s) sought

Abduction investigation leads to police pursuit in Milwaukee (October 2020)

Officers followed the SUV for a while and attempted to stop it near 8th and Keefe, the complaint states. The SUV fled, though, and an 18-mile pursuit ensued. The chase was eventually called off due to the high speeds.

The SUV was later found abandoned near the St. Francis-Milwaukee border. The complaint states it was reported stolen from Grand Chute several days before the abduction and chase. Inside the SUV, court documents say officers found a wallet belonging to Childress.

In addition to prison time, Childress was also sentenced to eight years of extended supervision.