School secretary among 3 charged in kidnapping

By The Associated Press

JACKSON — Court records show one of three women accused in the kidnapping last week of a 6-year-old Kemper County girl was the secretary at the child’s elementary school.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Wanda Faye Dancy, 51, worked at East Kemper Elementary School in Scooba., Miss. Dancy; Jesse Mae Brown Pollard, 54, and Shamarius Ruffin, 25, are each charged with kidnapping.

Pollard was denied bond by a federal judge last week. She will remain in federal custody pending the presentation of her case to a grand jury.

Ruffin and Dancy both have a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

The penalty for kidnapping is a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison.

According to a criminal affidavit filed in the case, Dancy allegedly told Pollard where the child was in the school and what she was wearing. Ruffin allegedly was directed to go to the library to get the girl, and to tell them that Dancy “said it was all right.”

Authorities say they traced a cellphone used to contact the child’s mother to Pollard.

According to the affidavit, Dancy told agents that Pollard had told her she wanted to take the child for “leverage” in order to get some land back. Dancy alleges that after Pollard picked up the child, she told Dancy to erase all the numbers from her telephone and not to tell anybody.

Federal prosecutors say Ruffin and Pollard drove into Alabama with the girl. At some point, Ruffin demanded to be let out of the vehicle and contacted an acquaintance to pick her up.

Another woman later joined the group and stayed with the child in a hotel room in Bessemer, Ala., the criminal affidavit states. The receipt, a hotel key and the receipt for the cellphone were found by agents during a search of Pollard’s son’s vehicle. The search matched the description of one Pollard was seen driving on security tapes.