A mother and her 11-month-old son were held hostage for five days last week before they escaped a harrowing kidnapping in which the young mom was stabbed, whipped with an electrical cord, and threatened at gunpoint, Nassau County police said.
Their alleged kidnappers were identified as 20-year-old Malachi Blaylock, the child’s father, whom the woman has an order of protection against, and the tot’s grandmother, 51-year-old Yolanda Gilreath, police said. Both were charged with kidnapping, among other disturbing charges, and were arrested Monday night, one day after the victim had contacted Rockville Centre Village police.
The 20-year-old mother was hospitalized in Brooklyn on Saturday, police said. The child was unharmed during the “horrific” ordeal, said Nassau County police Insp. Kenneth Lack Tuesday at a press conference at police headquarters in Mineola.
Despite the order of protection against Blaylock, the woman traveled to Gilreath’s apartment on Old Mill Court in Rockville Centre at 1 p.m. on Monday, July 20, after being cajoled into visiting, Lack said. They were moved to an apartment in Hempstead on Wednesday, and escaped captivity two days later, police recounted.
“They were lured by the mother via text message that the grandmother wanted to see the grandchild,” Lack said.
Upon arriving, Blaylock allegedly grabbed the toddler out of his mother’s arms and ordered the woman into his bedroom.
After handing the child off to Gilreath, Blaylock allegedly pushed the mother of his child to the ground, yelled at her, and punched her in the face and body, police said.
The violence didn’t end there, police said.
“She was beaten repeatedly during the five days,” Lack said. “She was strangled. She had injuries all over her body—contusions, lacerations. She was beaten with an electrical cord; she was stabbed in the hand with scissors. It was a horrific experience.”
At one point Gilreath appeared to intervene, reacting to the woman’s screams by calling Blaylock’s sister. The sister, who was not identified, saw the woman’s condition and attempted to dial 911 but was stopped when Blaylock allegedly knocked the phone out of her hand, Lack said. That was the only attempt made by anyone on hand to alert the authorities.
Blaylock allegedly moved the woman and child to an apartment in Hempstead on Wednesday, July 22, for unknown reasons. As of Friday, the woman had tried to flee three times, police said, but later that evening she took advantage of Blaylock’s absence.
Blaylock had left the apartment at around 10 p.m., police said. The woman used a tablet to contact her mother, who traveled to the apartment and rescued her daughter and grandchild, police said.
She visited a hospital in Brooklyn on Saturday and contacted police the next day.
Lack was not aware of any missing person’s report filed in the woman’s name during the five days she was held captive.
As for a motive, Lack said investigators believe the grandmother and father were interested in seeing the toddler, and that “the father was jealous of the victim having possible other relationships.” He emphasized that the investigation into their motive is in the preliminary stages.
An order of protection was issued against Blaylock for an alleged assault earlier this year, Lack said. Blaylock’s criminal history is sealed. The grandmother appears to have no criminal record, Lack said.
Investigators have yet to determine whose name is listed on the apartment in Hempstead where the woman and child were held for three days. Police did not release an address.
Blaylock and Gilreath are both expected to be arraigned Tuesday at First District Court in Hempstead. Along with kidnapping, Blaylock was also charged with unlawful imprisonment, robbery, two counts of assault, strangulation, criminal contempt, and menacing. Gilreath was additionally charged with hindering prosecution, unlawful imprisonment, and endangering the welfare of a child.
Lack told reporters that Blaylock was being investigated for potential gang ties.