NJ councilman’s kidnapped grandson died with bag over his head
CAMDEN — The grandson of the City Council president was found dead Tuesday, police said, after a kidnapper who had tried to extort several pounds of weed from the 20-year-old’s father left him hogtied with a bag over his head.
A 32-year-old Woodbury man, Brandon Beverly, was arrested Tuesday and charged with the first-degree murder of Curtis Jenkins III. Beverly faces life in prison if found guilty of murder because he also was charged with kidnapping.
Investigators found the body and collared the suspect in less than two days after a friend reported him missing and his family reported receiving a ransom demand with pictures showing a blindfolded Jenkins with his hands tied behind his back.
Jenkins was reported missing about 2:14 a.m. Monday in Camden after he and a partner had been dispatched about 11 p.m. to deliver food on the 2700 block of North Congress Road.
The person who Jenkins drove with said Jenkins did not return after 45 minutes.
Jenkins’ family called police about 4 a.m. when his stepmother received a call and messages from an unknown number making ransom demands for Jenkins. The abductor demanded 10 to 15 pounds of marijuana from Jenkins’ father, police said.
The family told police that they recognized the voice on the line as that of Beverly, who knew Jenkins.
Police traced the phone number and found the person who it was registered to. That person told police that their phone had been stolen in the early morning hours Monday when two men burst into a friend’s house on Third Street and Kaighn Avenue and robbed them.
Police found surveillance video from that area that showed two men getting in and out of a blue Chevrolet Uplander late Sunday night.
On Tuesday, police went to Beverly’s home in Woodbury and found the Uplander parked there. They pulled it over when a woman identified in police reports as Beverly’s girlfriend got in and drove away.
At the same time, police went into the home and found Beverly and another man. Police said they also found a handgun on a child’s bed and a wallet belonging to one of the people who was at the house when the phone used in the ransom call was reportedly stolen.
Police said the girlfriend told them that Beverly had admitted to the kidnapping.
She said Beverly and a woman ordered food from Jenkins on Monday. She said Beverly told her that he and several men then forced Jenkins into a van. She said Beverly told her that he got frustrated when his ransom attempts failed and that he shot Jenkins, leaving him in a garage on Liberty Street in Camden, police said.
Police said she took investigators to the garage, where they found Jenkins' body wrapped in a sheet with a bag over his head and his hands and feet tied together. He was pronounced dead at 10:54 p.m. Police did not report finding a gunshot wound.
The Camden/Gloucester/Salem Medical Examiner’s Office said Wednesday that Jenkins had died from asphyxiation.
Prosecutors have not charged anyone else with any crimes although they have not ruled out further arrests.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.