Police: grandmother, aunt of missing Syracuse teen arrive in Indiana


KOSCIUSKO COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – The grandmother and aunt of Aaliyah Ramirez, the Syracuse teen who was missing for more than four months, have been extradited to Indiana.

Elizabeth Sands, 47, of Palm Beach County, Florida and Allissa Sands, 25, of Marion County, Indiana, were taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and deputies on warrants out of Kosciusko County.

Allissa Sands and Elizabeth Sands arrested in connection to Aaliyah Ramirez disappearance

The pair arrived to Indiana around 4 a.m. Sunday, and they face charges of Interference with Custody (Felony 6) and false informing (a misdemeanor), according to Chris Francis, Kosciusko County Sheriff Public Information Officer.

Aaliyah Ramirez
Aaliyah Ramirez

Both were arrested in Florida after the 14-year-old Syracuse girl was found safe in the area of Lake Worth Beach in Palm Beach County. U.S. Marshals reportedly spotted her getting into a vehicle, and marshals and Palm Beach County deputies recovered her.

According to the case’s probable cause affidavit, Anthony Ramirez, who is Aaliyah’s father, recently won full custody of her. The order provided guidelines for communication between the 14-year-old and the Sands. It also prohibited contact between Ramirez and “a person identified as the boyfriend, currently residing in Florida.”

The affidavit says that Anthony Ramirez suspected that the Sands were responsible for his daughter’s disappearance right away in April.

According to the affidavit, the Sands “formulated a plan to pick up Aaliyah and take her back to Florida so she could be with her boyfriend.” However, on April 27, around 7:30 p.m., Allissa Sands contacted police, saying she was notified Ramirez was missing and denied knowing her whereabouts.

Police got perhaps their biggest break in July when Aaliyah was spotted on a Florida malls’ surveillance video, wearing a disguise, shopping with Elizabeth Sands and her boyfriend.

The Sands are expected in court on Monday.

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