Pair Charged With Kidnapping In Amber Alert Incident

Detectives from the New Castle County Division of Police have charged Randy Purnell, 42, (Left) of New Castle, and Aaron Douglas, 35, (Right) of Laurel, in connection with a kidnapping and vehicle theft incident that took place on November 29, 2023.

The investigation started at 5:30 p.m. when officers responded to the 7/11 located at 60 S. Gerald Drive in Newark for a report of a stolen motor vehicle that just occurred where a one year old female was still inside the car.

The vehicle, a 2010 Nissan Altima Gray was described to have damage to the rear passenger door. The car was left running at which time a black male, dressed in a gray hoody, black jacket and camo pants jumped in the driver seat and drove away with the child in the back.

The suspect originally exited another vehicle, possibly a black Nissan rogue or Mazda 6 before stealing the victims vehicle. Both fled the area, the victims vehicle towards 273 towards 95

Officials said through investigative measures, detectives identified the original suspect vehicle as a black Nissan Kicks. This vehicle was located by officers of the Philadelphia Police Department on the same day.

The suspect vehicle was found with Aaron Douglas and Randy Purnell inside according to police. Both suspects were taken into custody on unrelated arrest warrants and transported to a local precinct. Detectives from New Castle County were present in Philadelphia and responded to the precinct. Later, investigators located the stolen Nissan Altima in Kensington.

Following the investigation, New Castle County Detectives issued arrest warrants for both suspects. They have been charged with one felony count of kidnapping in the second degree, one felony count of theft of a motor vehicle, one felony count of conspiracy in the first degree, and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child. Currently, both suspects are being held in Pennsylvania, awaiting extradition to Delaware.

About Staff Writer

First State Update's Delaware editorial team covers New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County breaking news, political news, and general news stories. We bring the reader the latest news from the Wilmington, Newark, Dover, Rehoboth Beach and all point in between. If you have news to share, email us at [email protected].

View all posts by Staff Writer →