Lincoln Park rape suspect's family defends their son; victim says she knew attackers

A 19-year old suspect is on the run wanted by Lincoln Park police for kidnapping and rape.
One suspect locked up after he turned himself in Monday night. The other 19-year-old Fernando Anderson IV is still on the run.

Tonight FOX 2 spoke to that suspect's family who says there is a lot more to this story.

The mother and sister of 19-year-old Fernando Anderson, who is still on the run defending her son.

"Right now we're trying to get him to turn himself in," said Markita Eckford, Anderson's mother. "He's 19 and really scared."

Police say Fernando and his 22-year-old cousin kidnapped a 23-year-old woman at gunpoint in the parking lot of this Lincoln Park Walgreens, robbed her and spent the next hour driving around taking turns raping her.

They stopped at a Sunoco to buy cigarettes where an image of the 22-year-old suspect was captured.

The woman told police they let her go; when 19-year-old Fernando claimed he had to be home by 10 - a requirement of his tether he was wearing.

But his family is telling a much different story - they say Fernando doesn't wear a tether, adding he never has.

And it appears the victim and the suspects knew each other before that night.

"She claims that she didn't know him," said Brandee Robinson, the suspect's sister. "If you look right here, here's her number, and if you look at the messages back and forth, that's the same number. She has been talking to him since March 21.

Lincoln Park police searched the suspect's home for the victim's stolen cell phone, leaving the search warrant behind with the victim's phone number on it.

Fernando’s family pulled up his text messages showing conversations with that matching phone number that date back to March 21.

"They didn't give her money she got mad, she made up this story," Eckford said.

FOX 2: "How do you know that?"

"Because my son told me that (when) I talked to him," she said.

Eckford claims the two had apparently met the woman on a website.

FOX 2 spoke to the alleged victim by phone - who told us the three did meet up the night of March 30th but when she said she changed her mind, the two followed her to the Walgreen's parking lot where they robbed, kidnapped and eventually drove around raping her at gunpoint.

As soon as the let her go, she told police everything that happened.

But the family of the suspects doubt her story.

"You can't tell the police that you don't know them, that you had no contact with them and it was a random robbery when obviously they had your phone number," Robinson said.

The victim claims the suspects also stole her debit card that night and used it after the attack while she was at the hospital.

She said she is cooperating with police, who are still pursuing charges against these two suspects



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