Father of kidnapping suspect speaks out

Local News

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC)- The father of a suspect charged with kidnapping in the abduction of two University of Rochester students defended his daughter Tuesday evening, saying he can’t believe his daughter committed the actions police say she was a part of.

Valentin Lora, is the father of Ruth Lora, a 19-year-old student at Finger lakes Community College in Canandaigua, who is accused of helping to kidnap and restrain U of R seniors, Nicholas Kollias and Ani Okeke-Ewo.

Lora said his daughter was supposed to return home Sunday night, but she never did. He wasn’t aware of her arrest until Tuesday morning, when he got a call from the jail.

“Devastated, destroyed,” Lora said. “I never expected something like that in my life from my kid.”

Lora and five others were arraigned Tuesday morning on kidnapping charges. 26- year- old Lydell Strickland, 19- year-old Samantha Hughes, 20- year- old Leah Gigliotti and 24- year- old Dennis Perez are all being held without bail, charged with first-degree kidnapping. 19- year- olds Inalia Rolldan and Ruth Lora face a lesser kidnapping charge.
Police say Ruth Lora assisted in the abduction and court paperwork details that it was Lora’s job to feed the victims during the almost 40 hours they were held captive inside a home on Harvest street, which was Perez’s home.
Police say the suspects stole money, credit cards, and personal ID numbers from the victims. Police say the victims were repeatedly assaulted with fists, clubs, and other objects. Kollias was shot in the leg with a .22 caliber rifle before the swat team was able to rescue the pair Sunday evening
Court paperwork says Lora saw the severity of Kollias’ injury after he’d been shot and did nothing. Lora  was arrested after police say she left the house to buy more food, left her backpack inside, with her wallet and Nicholas Kollias’ drivers license inside too.
Sources tell News8 the kidnapping was retaliation for a drug-related incident, but it’s not clear if the two students were directly involved.  
Matthew Schwartz is the Monroe County prosecutor.
“We’re not going to share any background or underlying details relative to these charges. This is absolutely still an ongoing investigation,” Schwartz said.
Lora says  his daughter Ruth is a good student and works at a local Dunkin Donuts shop to pay her bills. 
“I know my daughter is not that kind of person,” Lora said. ” I’m very scared about this situation, what is going to happen, but I hope they find out that she is innocent, that is my hope.” 
Lora says he knows Rolldan but doesn’t know any of the other suspects or how his daughter knows them. 
Lora and Rolldan’s bail was set at 50-thousand dollars. Valentin Lora said his family can’t afford it. 
Strickland, Hughes, Gigliotti and Perez are all being held without bail. 
The motive for why this happened still remains a mystery. 
Ewo has been released from the hospital. Kollias remains hospitalized while he recovers from his injuries. 
All of the suspects are due back in court on Friday. 

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