According to WLTX, Emmanuel Franklin, 19, plotted his alleged plan on Jan. 22, when he reportedly told his mother that if she didn’t put the money in a neighborhood mailbox, he would be murdered by kidnappers. An incident report says the mailbox belonged to Franklin’s father.
The mother told investigators about the calls, one from her son and another from a mystery male she didn’t know. Her son later reportedly confessed to authorities that it was all a hoax to try to get the money from his mother.
Franklin was arrested Sunday and charged with blackmail.
Meanwhile, a similar incident played out in Mobile County, Alabama, where police were on the hunt for a teenager who they say faked his own kidnapping and death to avoid going to court.
According to ABC News, Marco Perez, 19, was indicted in November for possession of a stolen firearm. The seemingly career criminal with a “long rap sheet” reportedly shot and killed Officer Sean Tuder, who attempted to arrest him on a prior warrant.
Perez allegedly disappeared on New Year’s Eve from his home in Theodore, Alabama and the family reported him missing. But it wasn’t long before they began receiving text messages from his cellphone claiming he was dead, his mother, Tiffany Perez, told ABC News on Jan. 9.
“Further investigation revealed that Marco Perez, 19, texted his parents, attempting to fake his kidnapping and death, and that Perez wanted to avoid going to federal prison, as he is going to trial on federal gun charges,” the Mobile Police Department said in the statement. “Police attempted to locate Perez. However, he ran from police. Perez has an active federal probation violation warrant.”
Meanwhile, the teen’s mother said she is outraged that the police believe her son was never in danger. She claims Marco wouldn’t fake his own death.
“He goes to every court date. I know because I’m the one who takes him,” Perez said. “Everybody’s a human being whether they’ve been in trouble or not.”
Perez was arrested Thursday night after investigators said she helped Marco fake a kidnapping so he could evade the law.
Mobile Police said 20 officers wasted a total of 90 hours searching for the suspect after he was reported kidnapped.
Perez was eventually apprehended and at the time of this report, remains jailed (bond has been denied) until his arraignment.