The FBI said yesterday it has recovered nearly all of the $50,000 ransom a Northern Virginia banker paid last week for the release of his kidnaped daughter. Agents said they found most of the money -- $33,300 in cash -- stuffed inside a San Francisco hotel safe-deposit box used by John J. O'Grady, the Fairfax County man charged in the kidnaping.
O'Grady yesterday was ordered returned to Virginia to face trial as soon as possible by U.S. Magistrate Frederick Woelflen.
A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco said O'Grady should be returned to the Washington suburbs within seven days. He has been charged in Alexandria federal court with violating a federal extortion law in connection with the Sept. 23 kidnapping of Carol Lynn Drewer, 19-year-old daughter of First American Bank of Virginia president Milton Lee Drewer Jr.
Carol Drewer, who was held captive 14 hours, was released unharmed after her father dropped the $50,000 payoff, in $50 and $100 bills, into a trash can at Tysons Corner Center. O'Grady allegedly abducted Drewer at gunpoint about 8 a.m. Sept. 23 as she left her car in a nearby parking lot at First American's Tysons Corner headquarters, where she is employed in the marketing department.
Alexandria FBI spokesman Al Hein said yesterday the bureau is continuing to investigate the possibility that more than one person might have been involved in the kidnaping.
Carol Drewer, who was bound, gagged and blindfolded during much of her captivity, has told the FBI that when she was taken to a room where she was held, O'Grady allegedly knocked three times on the door of an adjoining room -- an apparent signal that the woman says was answered by another three knocks, according to an FBI affidavit.
Drewer said O'Grady also spoke twice on the telephone and on one occasion remarked: "Everything is going smoothly."
FBI spokesman Hein said yesterday that the kidnaper might have staged the knocking signal and the phone calls to create the false impression that he had accomplices.
O'Grady flew to San Francisco last Wednesday morning, the day after the kidnaping, according to the FBI. The FBI said it learned about the safety deposit box at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco from a woman hotel employe. The woman told the FBI that she met O'Grady through a friend of hers, a Washington area businessman who sat next to O'Grady on the plane to San Francisco.
According to the FBI, the businessman told the woman that O'Grady flashed a large sum of money -- perhaps $30,000 to $40,000 held in a brief case -- during the flight and later deposited it in the hotel's safety deposit box.
The FBI said an additional $13,200 in cash and checks was seized when O'Grady was arrested at the Fairmont last Saturday night, leaving all but $4,500 of the ransom accounted for.
FBI agents said when they searched O'Grady's hotel room they also found handcuffs, a blue jogging suit, a baseball cap and a pair of women's underwear. h
When he was arraigned in U.S. court in San Francisco on Monday, O'Grady said he was heavily in debt and had not worked in nine months.