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Police: Boy Killed for Ransom from Drug-Dealing Brother

January 30, 1990 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ A kidnapped 12-year-old boy whose finger was cut off to persuade his drug- dealing brother to pay ransom was found dead in a pile of plastic bags just days after the brother was killed, police said Monday.

A man collecting cans on a bike path Sunday discovered the body of William Porter, who was abducted Dec. 5 as he walked to school.

The boy’s 25-year-old brother, Richard Thomas Porter, had refused to cooperate with the police investigation of the kidnapping. Detectives speculated he may have been negotiating his brother’s release before he turned up fatally shot Jan. 4, not far from where William was found in the New York borough of the Bronx.

A police spokesman, Lt. Raymond O’Donnell, said William’s body was identified Monday by family members. An autopsy report on the cause of death was not complete, Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the city medical examiner, said Monday.

Detectives believe the boy was kidnapped for up to $500,000 in ransom from Richard Porter, reputed by police to be a mid-level drug distributor who controlled several street dealers in Harlem.

A police source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said William’s right index finger was severed and left Dec. 6 with a short taped message from him in the bathroom of a Manhattan restaurant.

″They cutted my finger off,″ the sixth-grader cried on the tape, the Daily News said in Jan. 5 editions. ″Please help. ... I love you mommy.″

Richard Porter was found shot in the head and chest. His wallet, with more than $2,000 in it, was found on his body. At the time his slaying, police refused to comment on the kidnapping because the 12-year-old had not been found.

The kidnappers demanded ransom money in a series of telephone calls, notes and the taped message from William, all on Dec. 5 and 6.

The kidnappers had told Richard Porter in a telephone call to go to the restaurant bathroom, but he sent another family member instead.

The last contact with the kidnappers came Dec. 10, when a woman handed a note to a child in Manhattan and told him to deliver it to William’s aunt, who lived in the area.

The note said the boy was in pain and needed medical attention.