ATLANTIC CITY - The FBI is offering a reward of up to $20,000 to anyone who can help them find abducted Atlantic City High School graduate Nadirah Ruffin, as well as for any information that leads to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of her kidnappers.
At a Wednesday press conference at the Atlantic City Public Safety building, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Darryl Bazemore and Atlantic City Deputy Chief Ernest Jubilee stood before a series of photos of the 19-year-old Ruffin and implored locals to provide whatever information they could to find her.
"We have expended all resources, are working around the clock and have enlisted the help of all law-enforcement agencies," Jubilee said, listing among others the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office, the New Jersey State Police and the FBI. "But we have not been successful in locating her. "We're here today to appeal to the public to assist us."
Ruffin, who has a 4-year-old son, was abducted Saturday night from a friend's home in the Back Maryland neighborhood of Atlantic City by four gun-wielding suspects with masks. The suspects pushed their way in, bound everyone with duct tape and ransacked the house before taking Ruffin away at gunpoint and into a vehicle, police said.
Ruffin is described as a 5-foot-4, 120-pound black female with a medium complexion. She wears eyeglasses and has a tattoo on the leftside of her neck that reads "so sweet."
Jubilee has previously said that one of the suspects said, "We're taking her to the Ville," a common slang term for Pleasantville. He said Wednesday that he could provide no specific information about the investigation except that all leads were being considered. Several people are being looked at as "persons of interest,' he said, but no arrests have yet been made.
"We haven't been able to verify anything yet," said Jubilee, whose department confirmed that the other women at the residence were robbed of money. "We're working through all rumors, all theories, all information coming through."
Bazemore said the FBI became involved due to the "assumption" that since a number of days have passed without any developments that "there may be some interstate travel involved. ... (But) because of the nature of the investigation, it wouldn't be ideal for me to speculate about that."
Atlantic City police Sgt. Monica McMenamin stressed the important nature of any information that comes in.
"She's the mother of a young son, employed at a local retail store, a graduate of a local high school," McMenamin said. "Her loved ones await her safe recovery. You might not think (something) is important, but even the smallest thing can help. Whatever you have."
Anyone with information about the abduction is asked to call the Atlantic City Police Detective Bureau at 609-347-5766 or anonymously at Atlantic County Crime Stoppers at 609-652-1234, or 800-658-TIPS (8477).
Tips and information can be also be submitted anonymously online at http://crimestoppersatlantic.com/">crimestoppersatlantic.com
Staff writer Lynda Cohen contributed to this story.
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