Real Name: Desiree Dawn Lingo-Perkins
Aliases: None Known
Wanted For: Abduction and Murder
Missing Since: March 2000
Details: Kevin McElroy had a flourishing manufacturing business in East Texas with over thirty employees, and his eighteen-year-old son Kyle worked there as an evening supervisor. On March 10, 2000, at 9:20AM, a woman called the office and demanded to talk to Kevin. The woman, who called herself Sara, claimed that she had kidnapped Kyle. She told Kevin where to find his son's truck and that there would be more instructions inside of it. She also threatened to kill Kyle if the police were contacted.
At first, he thought that it was a joke. Then, his son's voice came on. He said "Daddy, do what they say, or they are going to kill me!" but Kevin felt it sounded like a recording of his son. Despite Sara's warning, he called police, who followed him to Kyle's truck. An officer, posing as a rancher, pulled over several feet away from the truck. Inside the truck, Kevin found a note that said "You have seven hours to come up with $200,000. Do not call the police, or we will kill your son. We will call you later at the plant."
After leaving the truck, Kevin arrived at a meeting point with investigators. At that point, the FBI was involved. All of the employees were sent home. At 4PM, Kevin and two FBI investigators arrived at his office. At 6:30PM, Sara called the office, asking for the money. Kevin explained that he could only get half of the money. He tried to stall her so the FBI could trace the call. He wanted to speak with his son, but she said that he was fine and hung up. A few minutes later, she called back and told him to go to a phone booth where he would find more instructions.
At 7:15PM, he arrived at the phone booth and found a note at the bottom of a trash can next to the phone. The note ordered Kevin to deliver the ransom money to a laundromat a half mile away. He would then receive another call at his office that would tell him where to find Kyle. Kevin had the FBI listen to the calls, and they traced the next call to one of his employees, Victor Feredes, whose real name is David Rios. Rios was soon arrested, as well as two other conspirators, Ernesto Balion and Alfredo Romero, when they tried to retrieve the ransom money.
Ernesto broke down and told authorities where they would find Kyle; he claimed that he was still alive. Tragically, when Kyle was located by the FBI, he was dead. He had been choked to death and bound with duct tape. The FBI believes that Kyle was forced to record the tape and was killed before the phone calls were even made. Rios, Balion, and Romero were all charged and convicted of kidnapping and murder. The FBI soon identified "Sara" as Desiree Dawn Lingo-Perkins, a prostitute known to frequent local migrant worker camps. Perkins is now wanted for capital murder.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the August 6, 2001 episode. Perkins was profiled on America’s Most Wanted and the case was later covered on Cuff Me If You Can.
Results: Captured. In October of 2004, Perkins was seen by police officers in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. They noticed her trying to flee from them by weaving in and out of traffic on a bicycle. They caught up with her, identified her and extradited her back to the United States. She admitted to her involvement in the crime, pleaded guilty, and is now serving a life sentence in prison for Kyle's murder. Alfredo Romero was sentenced to thirty years; Ernesto Balion was sentenced to fifty years; and Daniel Rios was sentenced to life in prison.
- Desiree Perkins on Unsolved Archive
- Trio charged with murdering son of Texas injection molder
- Woman suspect still sought in slaying of teen
- Woman wanted in Texas kidnap-killing detained, deported
- Conviction Of Son's Killer Allows Parents To Begin New Chapter Of Their Lives
- Lingo-Perkins’ capital murder conviction upheld
- Perkins v. Texas
- Desiree Lingo-Perkins Inmate Information
- Kyle McElroy at Find a Grave