Suspects in bizarre plot to snatch kids fighting extradition from Scotland

Three child kidnap and murder plot suspects being held in Scotland have delayed their extradition to the US after lodging appeals.

Valerie Perfect Hayes, Gary Blake Reburn and Jennifer Amnott are wanted in the States for their alleged parts in a bizarre botched attempt to snatch five kids and kill their parents in Virginia – but Hayes has claimed it’s not safe to return home after being framed by her military intelligence officer ex.

We revealed last week how the trio were finally being sent back to the US almost three years after being found living in Glasgow, when orders were signed for their extradition.

But the process could now be delayed for several more months after all three suspects lodged fresh bids to remain in Scotland.

Valerie Hayes was said to be the mastermind of the alleged plot

A source close to alleged plot ringleader Hayes said: “It’s not surprising. I don’t think anyone would want to be extradited to face the charges she is facing.

“If convicted she won’t be seeing freedom for a very long time.

“Valerie loves it in Scotland and has been very well looked after here.”

Prosecutors in the States said the alleged abduction plot read “like the script from a bad horror movie” after Hayes, Reburn and Amnott were found living in Glasgow in 2018.

Florida man Frank Jesse Amnott, Jennifer’s husband, is already facing a life sentence in the US after pleading guilty to his involvement.

Legal papers claim Hayes masterminded the plan by duping the Amnotts, who could not have children, into believing she was a government agent before convincing them to help her carry out the abduction in return for a child of their own.

Suspects in bizarre plot to snatch kids fighting extradition from Scotland
Frank Amnott with his wife Jennifer

They say Hayes, who was living with boyfriend Reburn in Maryland, contacted the couple claiming that three of her own children had been kidnapped and were in the custody of two separate Mennonite farming families in the town of Dayton.

The US Attorney’s Office say the four devised a plan to take the children – who were found to be unrelated to Hayes – and kidnap two others in a murderous plan which “sought to eliminate witnesses to the abductions” by executing both sets of parents on July 29, 2018.

It said Jennifer Amnott remained in Maryland watching Hayes’ real children while the other forced their way into the first house in Virginia.

The children’s mother managed to escape and alert police while Hayes and Reburn allegedly fled.

Frank Amnott was arrested at the scene holding the father at gunpoint and pled guilty in December 2019 at a Harrisonburg court to conspiracy to commit kidnapping and conspiracy to kill witnesses – which carries a statuary sentence of mandatory life in prison.

An affidavit written by an FBI agent investigating the case last year detailed more than 1000 text exchanges between numbers linked to the Amnotts, Hayes and Reburn, outlining their alleged plan.

Suspects in bizarre plot to snatch kids fighting extradition from Scotland
Gary Reburn, boyfriend of Valerie Hayes

Hayes, Reburn and Amnott were arrested in Glasgow around four months after the alleged abduction attempt.

Though the basis for the suspect’s appeals have not been made public, Hayes, a former behavioural analyst, has previously stated that she is being set up by her former husband – claiming he is a high ranking intelligence officer in the US military.

Her lawyer in Scotland, Jelina Rahman, previously said Hayes claims to have faced “inhuman, degrading treatment, torture and persecution” from her ex, saying her “biggest fear is to return to the USA”.

Orders granting their extraditions were signed last month by Cabinet Secretary for Justice Keith Brown and the trio were given 14 days to appeal the decision before the process could be carried out.

The Scottish Government said all three had the right to appeal to the High Court of Justiciary, subject to being granted permission to appeal.

Court officials yesterday confirmed appeals had now been lodged at the High Court in Edinburgh.

All three will remain in custody pending a decision in their case.

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