Teen Charged with Extortion and More in Missing Dog Case
Bill Whiting was distraught when his dog, Edna, got out on Halloween night. He searched everywhere and put up lost dog flyers with a reward. When he got a phone call on November 10, it was one of the worst thing he can remember. Two teens calling to extort money from him to return his missing Edna.
“I was to bring cash, by myself,” at midnight to a location Whiting could not decipher.
Whiting agreed to pay the money but not to a midnight meeting. “They said they wanted the money now, and told me they’d kill the dog, repeating, ‘You don’t believe me, Mister, let me hurt it so you can hear.’ “
Whiting heard Edna yelp in pain. When he heard the jingling of her tags, Whiting knew they had his beloved little brown dog.
“I couldn’t believe how evil he was,” says Whiting. “He said, ‘You know, Mister, I want to kill your dog.’ “
Whiting pleaded with them not to hurt Edna, offering to give them even more than $600 if they would keep Edna safe until the morning.
The line went dead.
Then a final call later telling him that Edna was dead. He was heartbroken.
He got in touch wit the police and after more than a month, which included a lot of running around and procedural mistakes and hold ups, he got the news that the police had tracked down what they believe to be one of the youths involved in the extortion calls, a 15 year old male from Nicetown. The youth was taken into custody on December 30 and his name is being withheld due to his juvenile status.
Police say they were able to trace one of the calls to the suspect’s home.
Two of the suspect’s friends told police he bragged about the extortion effort.
“If this is in fact the person that’s done this, this is a very troubled child and that kid needs help,” Whiting said.
It is not known if the suspect ever actually had Edna or was just making malicious threats. No one has found evidence of Edna or her collar.
“That’s all I have been told so far, that there are no remains nor is there a living dog to be shown, so that part of it remains a mystery,” Whiting said.
He faces felony charges of extortion, criminal conspiracy and criminal mischief, in addition to charges of harassment and terroristic threats. He is scheduled for a January 31 trial.
Whiting believes there is still another teen out there because he was definitely called by two people and saddest of all, still no Edna nor any new of hew whereabout of what happened to her.
“I’ve had tears today a couple of times. I don’t see any happy news in this,” a heartbroken Whiting said Friday. “I don’t have a dog coming back, apparently.”
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