Son fakes own kidnapping in FaceTime call to get money from dad, deputies say
The father received a FaceTime call and saw his son "tied up against a tree with a gun to his head," officials said
By Simone Jasper
The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)
LEE COUNTY, Miss. — Video showed a man tied up with a gun pointed at his head — but the kidnapping story didn’t check out, Mississippi cops say.
Now, the man is one of two people accused of helping to stage a fake abduction to trick his dad, the Lee County Sheriff’s Department said Monday in a Facebook post.
It was early Thursday when the father received a FaceTime call and saw his son, Andrew Blake Hawks, “being tied up against a tree with a gun to his head,” the Sheriff’s Department said. That’s when someone demanded money and threatened to kill Hawks if the dad didn’t pay up, according to cops.
“At one point the alleged kidnapper did not get his money by the deadline and a gunshot was heard and the father was led to believe someone just shot and killed his son,” the sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook. “A short time afterward the kidnappers again contacted the father threatening to cut his son’s fingers off one at a time until his demands were met, and money was sent.”
Cops had been searching for Hawks but started to think the kidnapping was “suspicious,” officials said.
When the abduction participants thought it was time to collect ransom money, Hawks, 24, was spotted at a Western Union, according to the sheriff’s office Facebook post. He is accused of working with David G. Fisher, 36, in the alleged scheme.
A Facebook user believed to be Fisher didn’t immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment on Monday afternoon. Lee County didn’t list attorney information for Hawks on its website.
The two were were brought into custody Thursday and charged with felony extortion, jail records show. Hawks is facing an additional weapons possession charge, according to officials.
Lee County is in the northeastern part of the state and home to Tupelo.
Press ReleasePosted by Lee County Sheriff's Department, Mississippi on Monday, August 17, 2020
©2020 The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)