Thanks to Bill Whiting for barking in this article from Philly.com on Edna’s case.
Alleged dog-nap extortionist, traced to Virginia, turns himself in
By JULIE SHAW
Philadelphia Daily News
Victor Rodriguez, the teen charged with felony theft in the disappearance and possible torture last fall of Edna, the brown beagle mix, has surrendered to authorities.
Cathie Abookire, spokeswoman for the District Attorney’s Office, said yesterday that the 15-year-old had been in Virginia with a relative. On Thursday, he turned himself in at the Youth Study Center here.
Rodriguez, who is now in custody at an undisclosed community-based shelter, faces a trial March 10 in Family Court on charges of felony theft by extortion, criminal conspiracy and criminal mischief. He also faces a misdemeanor charge of terroristic threats and a summary offense of harassment.
A bench warrant was issued for Rodriguez, of Nicetown, on Jan. 31 after he failed to show for a pre-trial listing. Subsequently, detectives from the D.A.’s office searched for him, including going to several addresses where they thought he would be. They also determined he wasn’t enrolled in school here.
“Through very good detective work, we learned that the defendant was in Virginia,” Abookire said. “We were able to get word to him that he was wanted in Philadelphia.”
Bill Whiting, Edna’s owner, said yesterday that he feels “a certain sense of relief that they have found” Rodriguez, but still feels “a lot of frustration.”
Edna disappeared on Halloween while Whiting was visiting a friend in the Italian Market area. About 11:58 p.m. on Nov. 10, he received a call from two young males saying they had Edna, but wanted $600 for her.
In the background, he heard a dog yelping with pain and the jangling of dog tags.
Whiting pleaded with them not to hurt the dog, who was his companion for some 11 years, offering to give them even more than $600 if they would keep her safe until the morning. A few hours later, at 3 a.m., he received a second call from one of the boys saying he had killed Edna.
The dog has not been found.
Whiting, 57, plans to hold a news conference and rally in front of Verizon’s office at 1717 Arch St. at noon Wednesday because it took the company a week to begin to comply with a police search warrant for phone records that might have led to the extortionists.
“My being put through four months of hell is inexcusable when this could have been a slam- dunk,” Whiting said. “It’s torn me apart. It’s affected me at work. It’s affected me at home.”
Whiting, who had wanted local Verizon president William B. Petersen to come to the rally to receive a petition, said he found out Petersen “will not be available.”