Former WJ lacrosse coach charged with attempted kidnap and murder


Former coach Gary Reburn. Reburn, who was coach up until spring 2018, has been charged with attempted kidnap and murder.

Former WJ girls’ lacrosse coach Gary Reburn has been charged with attempting to kidnap five Mennonite children and murder their parents.

Last year, Reburn suddenly quit his coaching job after the spring season of girls’ lacrosse. Students who were on the team were disturbed to learn the reason he left.

The plan to kidnap Mennonite children was supposed to provide Reburn’s friends, Jennifer and Frank Amnott, with a child. The Amnott’s were unable to have children, so Reburn and his girlfriend, Valerie Hayes, said they would help the couple kidnap a child.

Reburn’s girlfriend, Hayes,was under the impression that three of her own children had been kidnapped by Mennonite families, and wanted to kidnap the children back and murder their parents. Authorities have confirmed that this was false — Hayes’ children were not kidnapped by the Mennonite families.

Former WJ girls’ lacrosse coach Gary Reburn.

In July 2018, Reburn and Frank Amnott forced their way into the house where the Mennonite children lived and held their parents at gunpoint. The attempt to kidnap the children was unsuccessful, and Jesse Amnott was arrested that night. Reburn, Hayes and Jessica Amnott escaped to the UK shortly after the attempt. They were arrested in Scotland in November, and are currently awaiting extradition.

“He’s definitely always been a weird guy so it wasn’t much of a surprise when he spontaneously quit a year ago,” senior Colleen Besche, who plays on the lacrosse team, said. “The team circulated rumors about what happened to him and where he went but I think we were all shocked to hear the full story.”

An anonymous senior said they always “had this weird feeling about him, but I didn’t know he was doing something this crazy.”

“He was coaching us while planning to kidnap someone. He could have done this to one of us,” the anonymous senior said.

Photo courtesy of Colleen Besche.

Several players said they always had felt “weird vibes” from Reburn while he was coach.

“He would always show us his karate moves,” Besche said. “If it was your birthday he would randomly flip you. He was just a really unique character and no one really knew why he was our coach.”

Principal Baker sent out a statement today relating to Reburn’s charges.

“These charges are unrelated to Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) students and unrelated to the time he spent as the lacrosse coach,” Baker wrote.