NORTH LAS VEGAS – Two women were in custody Wednesday facing charges of kidnapping a 6-year-old boy in a stunt police said was intended to prove a point about lax security at an elementary school.
North Las Vegas police said 40-year-old Laurinda Drake kidnapped the boy Monday morning near Jo Mackey Elementary School. Drake told investigators she took the boy to show the Clark County School Board of Trustees how easily someone could kidnap a student, police said.
Police said Drake drove the child to a Wal-Mart store before taking him to the home of a friend, Elaine Clermont.
Drake and Clermont, 40, then called a handful of local media outlets, asking them to meet at the Board of Trustees building, police said. Drake and Clermont turned the boy over to authorities and were arrested on first-degree kidnapping charges shortly afterward.
Police said the boy was unharmed.
Neither Drake or Clermont have been formally charged or assigned attorneys, according to a North Las Vegas Justice Court clerk.
Drake made an initial appearance in court by video Wednesday morning, when a judge set bail at $50,000. Clermont is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.
The two North Las Vegas women face 15 years to a life sentence in prison, if convicted.
Clark County School District spokesman Michael Rodriguez said the district would not comment on the case until police complete their investigation.
Rodriguez noted elementary school students are not allowed to leave school grounds without a parent's permission.
"Obviously, the safety of our students and staff is a very high priority for us, and we always want to ensure that they have a safe learning environment," he said.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Clermont has complained about security and other issues at several school board meetings. Most recently, she criticized board members for not promoting a song she and her daughter had written.