Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Kidnaper's Lost Wallet Led Spain Police to Girl

November 21, 1987|From Times Wire Services

ESTEPONA, Spain — Two more kidnap suspects were arrested Friday after Spanish police rescued a millionaire's 5-year-old daughter by storming the villa where she was held being held captive and shooting an abductor trying to use her as a shield.

The hide-out was 200 yards from a police station in the coastal town of San Roque, near Gibraltar.

"Don't cry, mommy, I'm all right," Melodie Nakachian told her mother as her father, Raymond, brought her home after the 12-day ordeal.

Police said they discovered the child's whereabouts from a wallet dropped by one of the kidnapers while he was out jogging.

The wallet, containing the child's name and the draft of a ransom note, was found by a priest and turned over to police. Officers then stormed the hide-out before dawn Friday.

Two French nationals, one shot and wounded in the chest when he tried to use Melodie as a shield, were detained, along with a Spaniard in the villa. Two other Spaniards were detained in nearby Malaga, and two other suspects were picked up later Friday.

Melodie was kidnaped by four masked gunmen as her older brother drove her to a private nursery school Nov. 9.

A state security spokesman said there was no link between the kidnapers and former business associates of Nakachian, 55, who ran several nightclubs in London in the 1960s before British authorities declared him persona non grata. He is now in the construction business.

Nakachian said he had not paid any ransom, which was cut from $13 million to $2 million in negotiations that lasted until three hours before the 5 a.m. raid. But, he added, "I was prepared to pay anything."

The last two contacts were made through Spanish friends who told the abductors early Friday that Nakachian had gathered $1.5 million and would have $2 million during the day.

The kidnapers threatened to starve Melodie to death, but Nakachian said they fed her cakes and did not mistreat her.

Kidnapers Called Professional

Police said the kidnapers were professionals and also planned to grab Melodie's 3-year-old brother.

Melodie looked bewildered and tired as she appeared before reporters, held by her mother, Kim Hong Hee, a Korean-born pop opera singer known as Kimera. The father, who is Lebanese, said his daughter had lost seven pounds and now weighed 29 pounds.

He said her worst moment had been when the kidnapers cut off a lock of her hair to send, together with a tape in which she pleaded with her father to pay the ransom.

"It was her first haircut," Nakachian said.

A broadcast of the tape of her broken, tearful voice shocked Spain. Nakachian said he had received many small gifts of money to help him to pay the ransom.

"If we had not got Melodie back today (Friday) or tomorrow, we would have gone mad. The kidnapers deserve the worst, because what parents suffer is almost worse than death," he said.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|