Police say man faked own kidnapping to extort ransom money from father
Published 6:21 am Wednesday, August 19, 2020
A man has been accused of faking his own kidnapping in Mississippi to extort money from his father who lives in Virginia.
The investigation into the case began Thursday when Andrew Blake Hawks’ father told deputies he had received a video call that showed his son tied against a tree with a gun pointed to his head, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Monday.
Hawks’ father told investigators the incident happened in Lee County, and that the alleged kidnappers had demanded money in exchange for his son’s life.
When they did not receive the money by the deadline that same day, deputies said the alleged kidnappers threatened to cut off Hawks’ fingers and fired gunshots that led his father to believe Hawks was killed.
Later that evening, the suspects were told the money had been transferred through Western Union. Police did not disclose how much money Hawks was trying to receive. When investigators arrived at the store where the money would be picked up, deputies said they saw Hawks, 24, attempting to get the money. He was arrested at the scene.
Deputies said his accomplice, David Fisher Jr., 36, was in the store shopping at that time and was also arrested. They have both been charged with extortion.
It was not clear if they had attorneys who could comment.