Officials: Mississippi man faked his kidnapping to get money from father

LEE COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says two men are in jail after staging a fake kidnapping.

The case began Thursday when the Lee County Sheriff’s Department was contacted by a Virginia resident who said they got a Facetime call showing their son, tied up to a tree, with a gun to his head.

Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson says the call was made from Guntown and it was all orchestrated to get money to cover a drug debt.

That initial phone call was the first of several, as the parents in Virginia thought their son was at the mercy of a kidnapper, who was demanding a 500 dollar ransom.

“After about 12 hours of negotiating back and forth, the parents received a telephone call from who they believed to be their son begging for his life, and heard what they thought was a gunshot, at that point they assumed the kidnapper had killed their son,” Sheriff Johnson said.

Eventually, the parents got a call from their son saying he was still alive, but the kidnapper would kill him the next time. Text messages were then received, threatening more harm to their son.

“They set a timeline every ten minutes they would send photos of body parts that were being removed , they received after a specific amount of time, several photographs of a hand that had damage to it, to the point it had a nail driven through the finger,” Johnson said.

Sheriff Johnson says the parents did not believe the photo was of their son’s hand. At that point, investigators , acting as the parents, took over negotiations and set up a time for the kidnappers to get the ransom money at a Lee County Western Union location.

Investigators arrested 24 year old Andrew Blake Hawks as he was at the counter, trying to collect the ransom money, which by then had dropped to 200 dollars. His accomplice, 36 year old David G Fisher was also arrested. Both are charged with extortion. The sheriff says it was all a ruse to cover drug debts.

“You get involved in the drug cartel and don’t pay your debt, to that bunch, you will do almost anything to keep from losing your life, may lose it anyway, because debt still hasn’t been paid, drug deal is still owed, he’s pretty safe where he’s at right now,” he said.

Hawks is being held on a $150,000 bond, Fisher’s bond was set at $100,000. Both are still in jail.

Sheriff Johnson says Hawks is also charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Categories: Crime, Featured, Local News, Mississippi State News, News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *