FLORENCE, Ala.—Authorities say a northern Alabama man tried to get money from his grandmother by faking his own kidnapping.
Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Office investigator Lt. Brad Potts tells news outlets 23-year-old Preston Kelley texted his grandmother a photo Monday that appeared to show him bound and beaten in a wooded area in Tennessee.
Authorities say Kelley told his grandmother to send $1,000 or else he would be killed. Potts says the woman contacted investigators, who concluded that Kelley wasn’t in Tennessee and the whole episode was a hoax.
PRESTON KELLEY 24YR OLD ALABAMA Man> Charged With Faking HIS OWN Kidnapping To STEAL $1,000 Cash FRM HIS Grandma https://t.co/tuz726xmZi
— Eric Wright™ (@therealeric916) February 9, 2017
Kelley was arrested later that day in Lauderdale County and charged with first-degree extortion.
During questioning, Potts says Kelley maintained he had actually been kidnapped.