Baby Bryan Dos Santos Gomes, a one-month-old kidnapped at knifepoint more than a week ago in Fort Myers, was taken as retribution for his parents failing to pay human smugglers, Fort Myers Police said today.Finding the child now is probably more difficult than if it had been the original theory of a woman wanting a baby. If the child's parents were smuggled into the US, Bryan may just have easily been smuggled out.
Chief Hilton Daniels said police have learned in the last 24 hours Maria Fatima Ramos Dos Santos and Jurandir Gomes Costa, Baby Bryan's parents, were smuggled into the country illegally from Brazil, but failed to pay the entire fee for that action.
The alleged kidnapper was part of the smuggling ring, and took the child as payment, police said. Previously, police surmised from profiling the kidnapper was likely a woman looking to steal a baby to claim as her own.
"We are still looking for this woman," said police spokeswoman Shelly Flynn.
"But it is not a woman who desperately needed a baby. Now we are looking for a group of people."
Bryan was allegedly kidnapped Dec. 1 after Dos Santos and a friend with her own baby got into a 2-door black or blue SUV to help a woman said she needed directions. After the suspect took the woman back to the Fort Myers trailer park where they lived, the women told police, the friend and her baby got out of the car, but the suspect threatened Dos Santos with a knife and drove off with her and the child.
Dos Santos was later found in Estero without her child.
A $21,000 reward for the child has been put out by area church groups.
No matter, still say a prayer for Bryan and his parents that they will be re-united.
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