Kidnapping charges are pending against two local teen-agers after the recovery last night of two children in Beaufort, N.C., where they were taken after someone signed them out of a southeast Baltimore elementary school Wednesday.
Maj. Marvin Knox, a spokesman for the Beaufort Police Department, said James Allen Smith, 7, and his sister, Keisha Lynn Smith, 5, both of the 1100 block of Rayleigh Way in O'Donnell Heights, were found at 8 p.m. yesterday near a Freshway convenience store.
The police spokesman said Beaufort officers went to the convenience store after receiving a telephone call from one of the suspects.
Knox said the Smith children were in good health and were turned over to the city's Department of Social Services pending the arrival of their mother, Brenda Patterson, 28, who left Baltimore for Beaufort last night.
The children and their mother were expected to return home today or tomorrow.
The suspects are Emmanuel Clark, 14, of the 200 block of S. Conkling St., and his girlfriend, Toni Tennyson, 18, of the 800 block of Brunswick Road in the Marlyn Garden Apartments in Essex.
They were being held today at Beaufort police headquarters pending kidnap charges.
"We got a phone call around 8 p.m. . . . that the two kids taken from Baltimore were at the Freshway store," Knox said.
Knox said Beaufort police had been alerted by Baltimore police zTC detectives that the Smith children were on their way to Beaufort with Clark and Tennyson and gave them descriptions of the four.
"We were already looking for them when we got the phone call and went to the Freshway store and picked them up," Knox said.
He said Beaufort detectives were waiting to receive papers today from Baltimore police before Clark and Tennyson are charged.
"Right now," Knox said last night, "we're holding Clark and Tennyson at police headquarters for investigation."
Dennis Hill, a spokesman for the Baltimore police, said that while it appears there may be a domestic link in the taking of the two children, detectives working on the case have not found it.
"We know Clark is known to the children's mother," Hill said, "but we don't yet know why he allegedly took the kids out of school and, along with his girlfriend, drove to Beaufort."
Donna Patterson, the aunt of the children and also a resident of O'Donnell Heights, accused Clark of taking the children to get even with her sister.
Donna Patterson said Emmanuel had been living in Brenda Patterson's home since last Saturday after his mother threw him out.
"My sister demanded he leave her home," Donna Patterson said, "and I think he took her kids to get even with her."
Wednesday morning, Brenda Patterson dropped her children off Graceland Park-Donnell Heights School in the 6300 block of O'Donnell St.
Patterson told police that her boyfriend, Miguel Villalovos Jr., 19, also of the 1100 block of Rayleigh Way, was to have picked them up at 11:30 a.m. Villalovos is the brother of Emmanuel Clark, police said.
However, when Villalovos arrived at the school, he was told that another male arrived at the school around 9 a.m. and visited with the the children before signing a form and leaving with them.
Patterson, Villalovos and others searched for the missing children for several hours before notifying city police.
Believing the missing children might be part of a domestic situation, police questioned the children's father, Thomas E. Smith, a construction worker who lives in East Baltimore, who proved he was working in Montgomery County when the children were taken and denied arranging for them to be taken from school.
Yesterday, city police showed the school employee who allowed the male to take the children photographs of the father, Villalovos and Emmanuel Clark. The employee said that Clark, whom she knew, looked like the person who took the children out of school.
After police contacted people in O'Donnell Heights who knew Clark, Hill said, they went to Essex, where people reported seeing Tennyson and Clark leave Wednesday in a car.
The Essex sources were unable to say if two children were with them.
In Essex, police also learned that Tennyson had family or friends in Shrewsbury, Pa.
Shrewsbury police interviewed those people and reported back to city police that Clark and Tennyson might have gone to Beaufort.
"We immediately contacted Beaufort police," said Hill, "and alerted them to the possibility that Clark, Tennyson and the two children were headed their way."
It was 35 hours after James and Keisha Smith were taken from school that they were found safe in Beaufort.