Florida Couple Kidnaps Cousin's Baby After Posing As Amazon Delivery Driver

By Zuri Anderson

February 29, 2024

Amazon prime boxes delivered to a front door of residential building.
Photo: Daria Nipot / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

A Florida couple was arrested in Washington State after they allegedly abducted their cousin's 7-month-old daughter. According to KOMO, 20-year-old Chun Ho Vincent Lai and 33-year-old Marrly Ardila-Urrego, of Fort Walton Beach, are facing several charges in connection to the kidnapping.

King County prosecutors allege Lai impersonated an Amazon delivery driver when he approached the mother's apartment around 9:30 a.m. on February 20. The woman, who was expecting a delivery, opened the door after looking through the peephole. The fake deliveryman allegedly punched the mother in the face and knocked her to the ground. Prosecutors said Ardila-Urrego, who's cousins with the mother, then entered the home.

Charging documents claim the suspects zip-tied the mother's wrists and ankles and taped her 2-year-old child's mouth shut. Lai allegedly "gestured as if he were going to stab (the 2-year-old) if (the mother) did not cooperate," reports read. The 20-year-old placed the infant inside the Amazon box and left the scene along with the mother's cellphone.

The mother was able to escape her restraints and contact authorities. A relative told investigators Ardila-Urrega, who's his niece, might be a suspect in the abduction. He claims she kept asking about the mother's address even though she usually doesn't "keep in contact with the family," according to prosecutors. He also mentioned the 33-year-old she was planning on being a surrogate to give birth to a child for $70,000 a year ago. The uncle believes she didn't go through with the plan.

Detectives used surveillance footage, cellphone tracking data, and information from the FBI to locate the couple and the kidnapped baby. A Washington State Patrol trooper pulled over Lai's vehicle on Interstate 90 in Grant County, and both Lai and Ardila-Urrego were arrested. The baby was returned home.

"This case is extraordinarily unusual," charging notes obtained by reporters read. "The defendants live in Florida and apparently came to Washington solely to commit this crime. The defendants came to Washington for the explicit reason of taking this baby, by force."

Both suspects are facing charges of first-degree kidnapping with aggravating factors for vulnerable victim, impact on persons other than victim, and crime included degree of sophistication/planning, first-degree burglary with aggravating factors, second-degree assault of a child with aggravating factors, first-degree robbery, and second-degree assault.

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