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GIRLS FOUND SAFE KIDNAPPER SHOT, KILLED AS DEPUTIES CLOSE IN.

Byline: Charles F. Bostwick, Ryan Oliver and Greg Botonis Staff Writers

QUARTZ HILL - After 12 hours of agony for their families, two popular teenage girls were rescued by sheriff's deputies who fatally shot the suspected rapist who abducted abducted Distal angulation of an extremity away from the midline of the body in a transverse plane and away from a sagittal plane passing through the proximal aspect of the foot or part, or away from some other specified reference point  them at gunpoint.

Continual news reports and the first use of the state's AMBER Alert Am·ber Alert
n.
A message that conveys information about a recently abducted person, usually displayed on electronic signs positioned along roadways and broadcast by mass media, intended to enlist the public's help in finding the abducted person and
 for child abductions resulted in residents calling in sightings of the stolen Ford Bronco The Ford Bronco was a SUV produced from 1966 through 1996, with five distinct generations.

It was initially introduced as a competitor for the Jeep CJ-5 and International Harvester Scout.
 in which the girls were driven for hundreds of miles - from Quartz Hill to Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850.  to Lake Isabella Lake Isabella is a man-made earthen reservoir in Kern County, California that consists of a main and auxiliary dam. It was formed in 1953 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed the Kern River at the junction of its two forks at Whiskey Flat. , where law officers spotted it and began a pursuit.

``I couldn't be a happier man right now,'' kidnap victim Tamara Brooks' father, Sam, said outside the Lancaster sheriff's station after the rescue. ``I hope that none of you and no one ever has to go through this. We just kept the faith, smiled and did what we could.''

Said kidnap victim Jacqueline Marris' father, Herb: ``I couldn't believe it, that she was found alive and OK.''

The girls' kidnapper was identified as Roy Ratliff, 37, an ex-convict from Rosamond, wanted since October on warrant accusing him of sexually assaulting and threatening a female relative.

Paroled in July 2001 after prison terms for burglary and drugs, Ratliff had stopped reporting to his parole agent in September, when the rape occurred, officials said.

After their rescue, the girls were taken by ambulance to Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, where they were being examined Thursday evening. Their families flew to Bakersfield from Lancaster in a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department This article is about the Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department, not to be confused with the smaller Los Angeles County Police

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department (LASD) is a local law enforcement agency that serves Los Angeles County, California.
 airplane.

``They seem to be OK,'' Kern County sheriff's Cmdr. Chris Davis said of the teens.

The girls were abducted at gunpoint about 1:30 a.m. Thursday from a hilltop teen hangout overlooking Lancaster, and the two young men they were with were bound with duct tape, officials said.

The kidnapper left behind a Saturn sedan carjacked two weeks earlier from an elderly couple in their Las Vegas driveway. He forced the girls into one of the young men's SUV.

One of the young men was able to free himself after about 20 minutes and run about a half-mile to a pay phone near a business on 50th Street West, where he called sheriff's deputies.

Hundreds of law enforcement officers in patrol cars and in aircraft fanned out across the area, looking for Looking for

In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with.
 the 1980 Bronco bronco: see mustang. .

The FBI alerted its offices in San Diego, Fresno, Bakersfield, Phoenix, Ariz., and at the Mexican border, and agents in Las Vegas interviewed the elderly couple whose car was carjacked July 18. They were seeking additional information on the robber and trying to confirm that he was the same man who kidnapped the girls.

The SUV was sighted about eight hours later on Mulholland Drive in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley

Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills.
, then four hours after that by a Kern County animal control worker on remote Highway 178 east of Lake Isabella.

Two Kern County sheriff's deputies quickly located the SUV on Highway 178 near the farm hamlet of Canebrake cane·brake  
n.
A dense thicket of cane.

Noun 1. canebrake - a dense growth of cane (especially giant cane)
brush, coppice, copse, thicket, brushwood - a dense growth of bushes
 and chased it until it went up a dirt road and crashed in a gully. The driver ran.

The deputies rescued the girls and ran after the driver, whom they shot when he refused to surrender, Davis said.

Davis said he didn't know whether Ratliff was armed or whether he fired at the deputies. The department will investigate the shooting, he said.

``We would have liked to have taken him alive, but he dictated the course of events,'' Los Angeles County sheriff's Capt. Tom Pigott said.

Antelope Valley residents mobilized around the abductions, which were called unprecedented.

``We'd never had anything like this here before, and I've lived here 56 years,'' Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts said.

Quartz Hill Walk-in Medical Clinic employees quickly offered a $25,000 reward, and $10,000 rewards were announced by Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich Michael Dennis Antonovich (born 1939 in Los Angeles, California) is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing the Fifth District, which covers northern Los Angeles County, the Antelope, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and parts of the San Fernando and San  and Lancaster's mayor.

Dozens of teenagers and the girls' relatives flocked to the Lancaster sheriff's station and Quartz Hills substation, where they waited hours for word. Their tears of anguish turned into cries of joy when they learned that both girls had been rescued.

During their anxious hours of waiting, Jacqueline's Highland High School Highland High School or Highlands High School may refer to:

In the United States:
  • Highland High School (Gilbert, Arizona)
  • Highland High School (Bakersfield, California)
  • Highland High School (Palmdale, California)
 classmates Classmates can refer to either:
  • Classmates.com, a social networking website.
  • Classmates (film), a 2006 Malayalam blockbuster directed by Lal Jose, starring Prithviraj, Jayasurya, Indragith, Sunil, Jagathy, Kavya Madhavan, Balachandra Menon, ...
 printed up and handed out hundreds of fliers around the valley. Other people organized a prayer service for tonight at Lane Park, near the abduction Abduction
Balfour, David

expecting inheritance, kidnapped by uncle. [Br. Lit.: Kidnapped]

Bertram, Henry

kidnapped at age five; taken from Scotland. [Br. Lit.
 site. The service was canceled when the girls were rescued.

When Highland students ran short of money to pay for 800 copies of a flier at Kinko's, a man standing in line gave them $50. At Donnell Printing in Lancaster, the company printed 500 fliers for free.

``It's just wonderful how everybody came together to help us do this,'' 17-year-old Katelyn Gallagher said.

News of the rescue was announced over the public-address system at the Palmdale Wal-Mart, drawing a collective gasp from shoppers.

Tamara, 16, an Antelope Valley High School Antelope Valley High School is located in Lancaster, California and is part of the Antelope Valley Union High School District. It was founded in 1912[1]. It is located in the Mojave Desert.  track star and student government officer, and Jacqueline, 17, a Highland High School cheerleader, had been with two young men parked, respectively, in an SUV and a truck on top of Quartz Hill mountain, which gives a view of the lights of Lancaster.

The kidnapper drove the stolen Saturn up the steep dirt road leading to the overlook. He approached the couple in one vehicle and, at gunpoint, forced them over to the second vehicle, deputies said.

Eric Joshua Brown, 18, and Frank Melero Jr., 19, were bound with duct tape, which the kidnapper apparently had with him, and he forced the girls into Brown's Bronco.

Before he left, the kidnapper doused the stolen Saturn with gasoline, but didn't set it on fire. Deputies were unable to say whether he did that before or after he accosted ac·cost  
tr.v. ac·cost·ed, ac·cost·ing, ac·costs
1. To approach and speak to boldly or aggressively, as with a demand or request.

2. To solicit for sex.
 the teens.

Coming on the heels of the ultimately fatal kidnappings of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion in Orange County and 7-year-old Danielle van Dam in San Diego County, the abduction drew wide attention.

News crews broadcast in four languages from outside the Lancaster sheriff's station. Sheriff's deputies and CHP CHP Chapter
CHP Combined Heat and Power
CHP California Highway Patrol
CHP Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi (Turkish: Republican People's Party)
CHP Chemical Hygiene Plan (OSHA)
CHP Community Health Plan
 officers volunteered to work for free to help find the kidnapper after their regular shifts ended.

Staff Writer Karen Maeshiro contributed to this story.

CAPTION(S):

6 photos, box, map

Photo:

(1 -- 2 -- color) Jacqueline Marris, left, and Tamera Brooks were found safe after being kidnapped early Thursday.

(3 -- color) RATLIFF

(4 -- color -- ran in AV edition only) Friends and relatives comfort the sister of kidnapping victim Jacqueline Marris outside the Quartz Hill sheriff's substation on Thursday.

(5 -- ran in AV edition only) Suspect Roy Ratliff, an ex-convict, poured gasoline over this Saturn sedan he had carjacked from an elderly Las Vegas pair.

Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer

(6) Desiree Lemos, 16, left, and Erika Bermudez, 16, celebrate after learning that Jacqueline Marris had been found safe.

Ric Francis/Associated Press

Box/Map:

TEENS KIDNAPPED
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Aug 2, 2002
Words:1129
Previous Article:AMBER HELPS IN HUNT SYSTEM EFFECTIVE IN GIRLS' RECOVERY.
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