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Family members connected to kidnapping case face drug charges

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A sister and brother connected to a multi-state kidnapping case now face drug charges.

Whitney Blackwell and her brother Stanley Pernell both face a charge for conspiracy to commit dealing cocaine. Pernell also faces a burglary charge.

Blackwell is the half-sister of 16-year-old Aaron Blackwell and 13-year-old Emma Blackwell, the two teens who were kidnapped early Monday morning. She said in an interview at the Marion County Jail that she feels responsible for them being taken.

She admitted to stealing money from her ex-boyfriend, John Thomas, at this home in Detroit last month.

In court documents, she told investigators she also stole a kilogram of cocaine and 4,000 oxycotin pills.

It’s unclear if the drugs mentioned in Blackwell’s case are related to the drugs her ex-boyfriend claims she stole.

During an interview with investigators Monday, Blackwell said she stole $43,000, money she said she used to buy two cars.

But in court documents, her mother Kathleen Blackwell told investigators her daughter stole $250,000 and cocaine.

She said her daughter planned to bury the money behind their home on LaSalle Street once the snow melted. She also said Blackwell could care less about the fact that her two siblings were kidnapped.

During her jailhouse interview, Blackwell said she was hiding out at a friend’s house when the teens were kidnapped and regrets that decision.

“I should have just stayed because I thought he was gonna kill them and I was like, if I would have just stayed he would just killed me and my kid and he wouldn’t have hurt my brother and sister,” Blackwell said with tears in her eyes.

In the documents, Blackwell told investigators Thomas would have 20 kilos of cocaine and up to $6 million in his home at a given time.

But when they asked about her involvement in the drug operation, they said she was uncooperative and incomplete with her information. Officers then arrested Blackwell on a traffic charge.

Court documents said as she was being taken away she yelled at Pernell to get money out of her car and get her out of jail.

That same day, police tailed Pernell to a home on the near southwest side in the 1500 block of South Goodlet Avenue. Police said they observed him walking around the house, and then later pulled him over for several traffic violations.

In the documents, police said Pernell admitted to breaking into the home and stealing a bag of marijuana and money. He was then arrested for minor marijuana possession.

Officers then got a warrant to search the home.

In the documents, they said they found a duffel bag filled with numerous forms of ID for Blackwell as well as a bag of blue bills and white powder believed to be narcotics.

Pernell has an initial hearing set for Thursday.

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