HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston man is in hot water after investigators said he faked a kidnapping story about his 6-month-old son to bring attention to his stolen Jeep.
On Thursday, Anthony Gray, 38, called 911, saying his Jeep Cherokee had been stolen from a gas station with his son inside the car.
This propelled Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies to cast a wide net to find the baby with an Amber Alert on standby. But there was only one thing: the child was never inside the vehicle.
Surveillance video obtained by ABC13 shows Gray pulling into the gas station at the 22500 block of Imperial Valley that morning.
He walks inside as a red Kia pulls right next to his Jeep. Moments later, two men get out, jump into Gray's vehicle, and drive off. That is when Gray called 911, telling police his baby was inside the car.
A relative of Gray saw the news and called authorities to report the baby was at their home. At about 10 a.m., Sgt. Beall confirmed with ABC13 that the baby, who authorities have identified as Noah Gray, was with his grandmother, who lives about a half mile from the gas station, the entire time, according to Maj. Susan Cotter of HCSO.
Gray admitted to police he lied about his baby being kidnapped because he thought it would prompt a faster law enforcement response to recover his Jeep.
According to Beall, Gray is now in custody and will likely be charged for the false report.
At around 7 a.m., deputies said they found the 2018 back Jeep Cherokee three miles away from the gas station at a house in the 16400 block of Eton Brook Lane.
However, surveillance video from the neighborhood shows only one individual getting out of the Jeep.
Beall said there are 30 minutes unaccounted for, so authorities believe one of the suspects might have been dropped off along the way.
The neighbors who found and reported the stolen Jeep said they were waking up when they noticed the car parked, partially blocking their driveway.