Local News

Second Arrest Made In Apex Kidnapping Case

Posted December 23, 2005 6:22 a.m. EST

— Investigators say good tips and strong detective work led them to the second suspect in a kidnapping and ransom case.

Wake County sheriff's deputies and U.S. Marshals caught up with Brandon Ingram in Durham after he was caught Thursday going 130 mph in a 45-mph zone.

At his first court appearance Friday, the judge read a list of charges against Ingram, including kidnapping, conspiracy and speeding to avoid arrest.

Ingram, 24, has traded one orange jumpsuit for another. After serving more than six years in prison for robbery and assault, Ingram faces charges once again -- this time for kidnapping 25-year-old Vernon "Rusty" Harris.

Earlier in the week, authorities charged Margaret Singletary for the same crime. They have not said how or whether she knows Harris. But according to Ingram's mother Sharon, Ingram knows Harris well. She said the two were often together growing up in Apex.

Why Ingram's accused of kidnapping his childhood friend is a mystery. Authorities say three suspects took Harris from a relative's home in Apex on Sunday and demanded an $80,000 from the Harris family. After they paid up, Harris was dropped off on a Durham road on Monday.

Authorities are not saying whether they've recovered the money. Neighbors of Vernon Harris Sr. and his wife say they're not rich, just a good, middle-class family.

"A very friendly couple, very nice couple," said neighbor Alphonse Roscoe. "They always speak and wave."

In addition to their home in Apex, the couple owns three other properties in Raleigh and Holly Springs. Authorities aren't talking motives, but neighbors have their theories.

"Anybody around here could've been kidnapped," said Roscoe. "But from what we know, it didn't happen here, it happened somewhere else. So it's somebody that knew the family, that's the way I see it."

Investigators said Singletary is giving investigators useful information. Authorities are still working the case, hoping to close in on other suspects.