Undercurrent

Alleged kidnap victim, Christian radio deejay under investigation by CPS

By: - August 6, 2018 12:50 pm
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SOS Christian Radio host J.D. Smith seen in YouTube video.

The strange case of a Las Vegas woman who says she was abducted at gunpoint in her home by two Hispanic men Thursday night and released in the desert north of the city is getting even more bizarre.

Giovanna Perera’s parents say their daughter told family members and police that she was taken from her home near Cactus Avenue and Valley View in retaliation for speaking earlier Thursday with Clark County Child Protective Services about J.D. Smith, a Christian web radio personality for SOS Radio, foster parent and former director of Peccole Little League.

Perera’s husband, Paul, is also the past director of Peccole Little League, says he left his home at 6 p.m. Thursday for batting practice and returned at 9 p.m. to find his wife gone, but her wallet,  phone and a note in the home.

On Saturday, Paul Perera read to the Current the note he said police believe was written by his wife.

“They said if I did not leave, you would find me dead in the house. I have no choice. I love you.”

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Poster detailing disappearance of Giovanna Perera, who returned home Saturday night

Perera says he spent Saturday printing and distributing posters of his then-missing wife.  Then late Saturday, he posted on Facebook that Giovanna had called him after managing to contact police.

Giovanna Perera’s parents said they rushed to their daughter’s side at the hospital, where she was questioned by police.

“The two Hispanic men who broke in the house asked Giovanna if she talked to CPS that day about J.D. and when she said yes, they said ‘this is what you get’ and made her leave her phone, Fitbit, everything and they went out the back and took her over the wall,” Perera’s mother Pam Caudiello said during a phone interview Sunday morning.

Caudiello says her daughter was driven 70 miles north of Las Vegas and thrown out of the car.

“She did what I taught her and walked until she found police,” Caudiello said.  

It’s unclear how Perera survived the extreme heat between the time she was allegedly left in the desert Thursday night and when she contacted her husband late Saturday night.

Perera’s parents say their daughter and Smith were romantically involved.

Smith, contacted via Facebook Messenger, initially responded, but would not comment when asked about the alleged CPS investigation.  The Current left messages at Smith’s workplace, but was told Smith is on vacation this week.

A story from 2013 indicates Smith has been a foster parent since 2006.

CPS specialist Tiffany Keith acknowledged the investigation but declined to comment, referring questions to a Clark County spokesman who also declined to comment.

On Sunday morning Perera posted on Facebook that his wife was safe and no more information about the episode would be forthcoming.  In a text he told the Current that Metro police advised him not to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Metro police have not responded to requests for information about this case.  No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed in connection with the alleged abduction or CPS investigation.

Sources close to the Perera family say Giovanna Perera returned to her home briefly Sunday but suffered an anxiety attack and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.

“We have built a fortress around our daughter,” her mother said Monday morning.  “She is not well.”

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

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