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2 Sought in Conspiracy to Kidnap Wynn

August 05, 1993|JOSHUA B. GOOD | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

LAS VEGAS — Federal agents have begun a nationwide manhunt for two young suspects who they believe conspired with an out-of-work circus performer to kidnap Kevin Wynn, the daughter of Las Vegas casino mogul Stephen A. Wynn.

Arrest warrants were issued Tuesday for the two Sacramento men, Jacob Harold Sherwood, 21, and Anthony Paul Watkins, 20. Former motorcycle daredevil Ray Cuddy, 47, was arrested Sunday at a Newport Beach car dealership in connection with the 26-year-old's kidnaping as he tried to pay cash for a Ferrari valued at $196,465.

Federal agents said they believe the $171,000 in cash found in Cuddy's car and hotel room was part of his share of the $1.45-million ransom that Steve Wynn paid to gain the release of his daughter. She was abducted from her Las Vegas home July 26.

Wynn did not report the kidnaping to authorities until after he delivered the ransom to a bar near the Mirage, his casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

During a news conference Wednesday, the two top law officers on the case--Randolph Prillaman, special agent in charge of the FBI's office here, and Sheriff John Moran--refused to say what evidence they had to link Watkins and Sherwood to the kidnaping. A federal affidavit in support of the arrest warrant was sealed.

Prillaman did say, however, that he believes the three suspects met in Sacramento.

Watkins is a native of Sacramento, while Sherwood was born in Gary and only recently moved to Sacramento, according to federal officials.

Prillaman said his agents have not ruled out looking for the men in other countries. But investigators acknowledge that they have few ideas about the men's whereabouts.

"We really don't know where they are," said Chief John Sullivan, supervisor of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department's detective bureau.

Prillaman said it appeared the three suspects were the only ones involved in the kidnaping, adding that no evidence has been discovered to indicate anyone close to the Wynn family provided information to the kidnapers.

"This appears to be a stranger-to-stranger type crime," Prillaman said. "We would have known if there were additional people involved."

Sullivan said it is possible that Cuddy may have seen Kevin Wynn at the Las Vegas Sporting House, a health club and restaurant frequented by both the kidnap suspect and the young woman.

Cuddy managed the club off the Strip in the late '70s and started hanging out there again when he moved back to Las Vegas in May, according to law enforcement authorities. According to police, Cuddy worked at one time for the Clyde Beatty Circus and also held a job as a blackjack dealer at Foxy's Firehouse Casino, which is now closed.

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