ROCKVILLE – A former high school girls lacrosse coach is under arrest on multiple charges following a failed kidnapping of five children and attempted murder of their parents.
Gary Blake Reburn was arrested in the United Kingdom and is currently under the process of being extradited to the United States after participating in a plot in July of 2018 to kidnap three children that were believed to belong to his girlfriend at the time, Valerie Perfect Hayes.
According to federal court documents, Hayes claimed to Reburn, Frank Amnott and his wife Jennifer Amnott that three of her children were kidnapped and in the custody of two separate Mennonite families in Dayton, Virginia.
She asked the Amnotts to help to find and recover the children, and in exchange, she would give them one of them to keep for allegedly assisting in the plot.
“Although the facts of this case read like the script of a bad horror movie, the defendants’ murderous plot was real, and it posed a grave risk to their intended victims,” U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen said.
All the children were younger than 8 years old and were not family of Hayes or any of the other conspirators, officials say. The four traveled from Maryland to Virginia to retrieve the children. According to U.S. Justice Department officials, to recover the children, the four agreed to kill the parents.
According to the plan, Hayes, Reburn and Frank Amnott would hold the parents up at gunpoint after entering the first house. Once the children were secured, the parents were to be executed. The same setup was in place for the second house for the other children . Once all they were collected, they would return to Maryland and the Amnotts would head to Florida with the child promised to them.
On July 29, 2018, Hayes, Reburn and Frank Amnott attempted to follow the plan in Virginia while Jennifer Amnott stayed back in Maryland. The three arrived at the house, with Hayes dressed as a Mennonite member. As one of the parents opened the door for her, the group force themselves inside and held them up at gunpoint.
The second parent in the house left the residents and called the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office. As Frank Amnott and Reburn tied up the first parent in the basement, Hayes attempted to confused deputies who arrived at the scene, claiming to be a neighbor that saw someone enter the house.
The officers allowed Reburn and Hayes to give the second parent a ride around the neighborhood to find the “suspects.” They dropped her off at a nearby convenience store before driving away. The children were not harmed in the plot; officials say as Frank Amnott was found in the basement and arrested. The second raid at the other home was not carried out as Reburn and Hayes returned to Maryland.
“If not for the quick thinking of a parent, and the immediate dispatch and response of a Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office deputy, this incident could have evolved into something much worse,” Special Agent in Charge David Archey said. “We are grateful for the partnership of the United States Attorney’s Office (WDVA) and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office and the assistance of our international partners regarding the work on this case.”
Frank Amnott, 31, pleaded guilty on Dec. 9 on one count of conspiracy to commit the offense of kidnapping, one count of conspiracy to kill witnesses and one count of brandishing, carrying, and using a firearm in the commission of a federal crime of violence. Amnott could face life in prison for the conspiracy to kill charge. He will be sentenced on May 26.
“I appreciate the diligence of the FBI and the Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office in investigating this case and bringing these conspirators to justice,” Cullen said.
The remaining three suspects fled to the United Kingdom in August 2018 before they were arrested in early December, authorities said.
In response to the arrest, Principal Jennifer Baker confirmed in a letter to parents on Dec. 19 that Reburn formally worked at Walter Johnson as the varsity lacrosse coach. According to the team’s MaxPreps page, Reburn was the head coach since 2013 but was not listed to lead the team this upcoming season.
“I wanted to share with our community that we recently learned our former varsity lacrosse coach, Gary B. Reburn, was arrested for his role in an attempted murder and kidnapping in Virginia,” Baker said. “These charges are unrelated to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students and unrelated to the time he spent as the lacrosse coach.”