Informant Awaiting $100K Reward in Child Rape Case, Another Juror Dismissed | NBC 10 Philadelphia

Investigation Into 5-Year-Old's Abduction, Sex Assault

Informant Awaiting $100K Reward in Child Rape Case, Another Juror Dismissed

A Philadelphia police detective says a woman is waiting to claim her money.

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    For the first time, Christina Regusters' mother and sister have spoken to the public about the case. Regusters is accused of kidnapping and raping a 5-year-old girl from Bryant Elementary School last January. NBC10's Christine Maddela was inside the courtroom today and has more on the case. (Published Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014)

    A Philadelphia Police detective dropped a bombshell in criminal court today.

    Detective Daniel O’Malley testified that a confidential female informant is waiting to collect more than $100,000 in reward money related to the kidnapping and rape of a 5-year-old Cobbs Creek kindergartner. 

    “My confidential informant is waiting on it (the money),” O’Malley testified.

    The informant provided O'Malley with a piece of information that led to the arrest of Christina Regusters, and that information was not released to the public.

    The reward will be paid out, that is of course, if the 21-year-old defendant is convicted of the crimes.

    During cross examination, Defense attorney Fred Harrison Jr. asked O’Malley if people were motivated by the reward. O’Malley responded that yes they were.

    More than 500 tips flowed into the police department in this case. O’Malley sought out white males living with women who wore Muslim garb as a result of some of the tips. The victim relayed to police that she was shown a photo of a white male and told that he was the one who hurt her.

    Police believe that showing the victim the photo was Regusters attempting to trick the child, but that she acted alone. 

    The child was kidnapped from Bryant Elementary School on Jan. 14, 2013 and walked to a nearby home where she was raped repeatedly with a sharp object. The victim told police she thought it was a toothpick because the object felt sharp. She was held naked and blindfolded under a bed for 19-hours before she was dumped below a swing set on an Upper Darby playground. Police say the crimes occurred at 6243 Walton Avenue. 

    O’Malley testified he tried to obtain the original sign-in sheet from Bryant Elementary School from that morning, but that the School District of Philadelphia and the school were unable to locate the original sheet of paper, only producing a copy. The sign-in sheets from the days before and after were located however. 

    Because police only had access to a copy of the sign-in sheet where the kidnapper scribbled her name, a handwriting analysis was not possible.

    During his investigation, O’Malley stated that there were Muslim stores in the Cobbs Creek area, but he didn’t investigate them. While in Regusters' home, O’Malley said he did not check other rooms in the 6243 Walton Avenue home for DNA evidence besides focusing on the middle bedroom that Regusters lived in and a rear bedroom that her teen cousin occuppied. The rear bedroom is where the alleged crimes took place. 

    Regusters' DNA was found on the T-shirt the victim was found wearing. Regusters' teenage cousin's DNA was found on a broken blue broomstick handle in the rear bedroom of the home. The victim's DNA was not found inside the home. 

    Over the course of the investigation, O'Malley found out that Regusters’ favorite food was steak and rice. She stated her favorite food on a work questionnaire kept on file at Heaven's Little Angels Day Care. The rape victim told police she ate steak, rice and broccoli while blindfolded during her captivity.

    The prosecution referenced the hot pink laptop as one of the items seized from the home. The FBI said that on that laptop they discovered Internet searches for Muslim garb, child pornography and photos of the victim and the case. 

    There was one less juror in the courtroom at the start of the trial Tuesday. Juror number 10 was dismissed. She is the third juror to leave the trial. No reason was given for her dismissal. There are now 12 jurors and two alternates left.

    After 11 days of testimony, the prosecution rested its case at the end of the day. Harrison expects to call two or three people tomorrow for the defense before closing arguments begin.


    Contact Sarah Glover at 610-668-5580, sarah.glover@nbcuni.com or follow @skyphoto on Twitter.