HOLLY ANN KIDNAPPER GETS THE MAX: 25 YEARS TO LIFE
Andre Rand, a 60-year-old convicted kidnapper and child molester was charged on February 15, 2001, in Staten Island with the 1981 kidnapping of 7-year-old Holly Ann Hughes. Holly's body has never been found. He is serving a 25 years to life sentence for the 1987 kidnapping of 12-year-old Jennifer Schweiger who had Down's syndrome. Rand has a 1970 conviction for the attempted rape of a 9 year old. He was arraigned on a first degree kidnapping charge which includes the presumption Holly Ann is dead. He has also been identified as a suspect in the disappearance of three other Staten Islanders: 5 year old Alice Pereira, who disappeared in 1972, 46 year old Ethel Atwell in 1978 and 10 year old Tiahease Jackson in 1983.
The distraught mother of Holly Anne was the target of a bizarre plot to get her to make a porno film to win the girl's release, it was revealed in court October 17. Holly Cederholm confronted Rand from the witness stand and charged he was behind a disturbing phone call she received after Holly Anne disappeared. She testified that a month after the girl was snatched, she was visited by a priest who told her an anonymous caller wanted to speak with her. After getting the police involved, the mom spoke with the mystery caller, and was told that if she went to Baldwin, L.I., to make a steamy sex movie, her daughter would be freed. On the stand in Staten Island Supreme Court, but with the jury outside the courtroom, Cederholm told the judge, That's the caller, Judge, pointing to Rand. That man sitting there with the beard and the glasses is the caller. She did not say why she thought Rand was the caller. Cederholm never went to Long Island and the defense attorney, Duane Felton, had a testy exchange with her over why. There was no need to go to Baldwin, she replied. My daughter was already deceased. I already knew that.
The family of Jennifer stood outside Staten Island Supreme Court on October 12 and begged Rand to reveal where other long-missing women and children are buried. Confess, come forward! said Karen Schweiger. Don't you have any remorse? Why don't you help the families so they can have some rest?
After closing arguments, the Staten Island jury now will consider whether Rand is guilty of kidnapping Holly Ann.
The wrenching kidnapping trial of Rand is sparking new calls to search for the victims' bodies.
Rand was sentenced to 25 years to life on December 8.
(Staten Island, New York)