Reno Woman Sentenced for Extortion Scheme Targeting Parents of Missing Persons


SACRAMENTO, Calif. 18 June (Punjab Mail) – A Reno, Nevada woman was sentenced today to five years and 10 months in prison for schemes to extort money from parents of two missing persons, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

Rozarri Verion Young, 24, pleaded guilty in August 2018 to two counts of interstate transmission of a threat to injure with intent to extort related to text messages she sent to the mother of a missing Gridley woman and the mother of a missing 16-year-old girl from Aurora, Colorado.

“A person who exploits a family for personal gain during the crisis of a missing child is among the cruelest of criminals,” said Special Agent in Charge Sean Ragan of the FBI Sacramento Field Office. “The FBI will ensure those who attempt to extort vulnerable families of missing children face justice. To help families of the missing, please continue to share posters found on websites managed by local law enforcement, the FBI, and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.”

According to court documents, a Facebook page was established to aid in the search for a missing Gridley woman that had received significant coverage in local and regional media. Through the page, Young, who was then in Reno, Nevada, acquired the cellphone number of the missing woman’s mother. On April 4, 2017, Young sent a series of text messages to the mother saying to “pay me or she’s dead.” The Gridley woman had last been seen in Yuba City on March 30, 2017. Law enforcement treated this investigation as a kidnapping.

The threats were traced to Young’s phone and the investigation later linked Young to a similar scheme aimed at the mother of a missing 16‑year-old girl from Aurora, Colorado. According to court documents, on April 3, 2017, Young called and sent texts to the girl’s mother offering to give back her daughter if she would send $2,000. The girl has been missing since July 15, 2016.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Heiko P. Coppola prosecuted the case.