UPDATE: On Friday, it was learned through police sources that investigators are searching vacant houses somewhere on the west side of Detroit where a vehicle matching the description of the car used by the suspects was found.
By Charles Sercombe
At the time we went to press on Thursday, several police agencies were helping Hamtramck search for two women who were abducted at gunpoint Tuesday night.
But as the hours tick by, investigators privately told The Review that the chance of finding the women alive grows slimmer.
Here’s the story so far: On Tuesday at 10 p.m., two men arrived at a house on Andrus, looking for Abreeya Carol Brown, 18 and Ashley Victoria Conaway, 21.
The two women share the house with Brown’s stepfather.
The main suspect, Brandon Lewis Cain, 26, of Detroit, attempted to pay the women $5,000 to not pursue legal action against him. Three weeks ago, police say, Conaway had broken off a relationship with Cain. Cain became upset and shot out the back window of her car.
The two women refused to drop criminal action against Cain, which then resulted in an attempt to abduct the women. But before that happened, Brown’s stepfather attempted to thwart the abduction by firing a gun at the suspects. The suspects returned the gunfire, and amazingly no one was injured.
The two suspects were able to get the women, and drove off in a car described as being grey or silver in color and possibly a Chrysler Concorde or Sebring, police say.
About an hour after the women were taken, Conaway sent a text message to her cousin saying that they were locked in a trunk, and who did it. That was the last anyone has heard from the women.
At first, police thought Cain’s accomplice was Michael Todd-Douglas, but he turned himself in to police Wednesday morning, saying he had nothing to do with the incident.
Detroit police are holding him in connection with Cain’s shooting at Conaway’s car.
Another suspect was named a person of interest, Bryant Christopher Lee, who was apprehended at his girlfriend’s house in Pontiac, police said.
Cain was arrested Wednesday evening. Hamtramck Acting Police Chief Max Garbarino said he could not discuss details about the circumstances of the arrest.
He also said he could not discuss what Cain and Lee are telling investigators, if anything at all.
With the arrest of three suspects, Detective George Voight said “the players we believe involved … are in custody.”
Garbarino said investigators have been working non-stop since Tuesday evening.
“Everyone on the second floor is on it,” he said in reference to the Detective Bureau in the police department. Also helping out are Detroit police, Michigan State Police and the U.S. Marshals.
Investigators are also looking at two cars found matching the description of the get-away vehicle, but no connection has been made yet.
And yes, police opened the trunks.
On Thursday, one of the women’s families put out a $10,000 reward to anyone who could supply information about the abduction.
Anyone with information is asked to call Hamtramck police at (313) 876-7803. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-SPEAK-UP (1-800-773-2587).