Update: Kidnapping of Maryland Casino Visitor Leads to Arrest

Posted on: July 2, 2024, 05:10h. 

Last updated on: July 11, 2024, 12:03h.

A 39-year-old man was arrested last week for the kidnapping of a victim who had been gambling at two Maryland casinos.

Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland
Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland, pictured above. A gambler at the casino went to a second casino and was later kidnapped. One suspect was arrested. (Image: Visit Annapolis)

Darron Torrence Finley, Jr., of Pikesville, Md. was charged with kidnapping and second-degree assault in connection with the January incident. The victim, Joel Edwards, 62, of Reisterstown, Md., had been at Hanover’s Live! Casino & Hotel Maryland.

He then went to another casino, Horseshoe Casino Baltimore, and four hours after he had been at Live! Casino, he drove his truck back to his home, according to news reports.

Two suspects then drove up to the residence in a Honda Odyssey minivan. The suspects, who apparently had been following Edwards from the Horseshoe casino beat up the victim and forced him into their stolen vehicle.

His horrified wife watched helplessly.

He started yelling and screaming for me so I ran outside, but I couldn’t do too much,” Edwards’ wife told Maryland TV station WMAR. “I didn’t have any shoes on. I didn’t have anything on and he was yelling for me and he was yelling for them to get off of him.”

The suspects then “placed a bag over his head so he could not see,” according to court documents. They took him to a residence where they restrained him to a chair with zip ties, police said.

$25K Ransom

Later, the Edwards’ wife was notified to pay a $25K ransom.

She was instructed to take the cash to Old Court Metro Station in Pikesville. Then, she was instructed to go to the nearby Winand Elementary School.

After she arrived at Winand Elementary School, the kidnappers called her again and told her to drop the money at the dead end of Lucerne [Road] near Tevis [Circle],” according to court documents.

She drove there and tossed the ransom payment out of a car window.

A short time later, Edwards was located walking near I-83, according to the Baltimore County Police Department.

The suspects were hesitant to immediately pick up the ransom money because they feared that police officers were watching the drop-off location.

Finley was arrested last Wednesday. He remained in custody later in the week. No bail was set. Police continue to search for two other suspects in the kidnapping.

The suspects apparently used GPS technology to follow Edwards as he drove home from the second casino.

Finley is scheduled to go on trial in August for a similar crime, which occurred in Phoenix, Arizona.

Victim Worried for Safety

WBFF contacted Edwards and he told a reporter last week he feared for his safety, and that other criminals may “finish the job.”

He added that “big gangs aren’t on street corners anymore, they’re in the casinos. I have come across many big-time drug dealers at the casinos gambling too,” according to WBFF.

There’s no word on how much Edwards won at the casinos before the suspects began tailing him.