There are people who are capable of coming up with excuses so convincing, we never doubt their stories. Then there are people whose failed attempts make us wonder what their IQ is. Abductions are no joke. It’s a miserable thing for both the victim and their family members. The thought of their loved one being in harms way puts them in an unimaginable position. Until they know the unknown, it can feel as if they are frozen in time.
However, at some point in time, we have had this feeling of just disappearing in order to avoid all the stress in life. Sometimes, such a trip is necessary to reflect on our lives and to think of the future. But what about those who wished to disappear for a short period of time, by pretending to be abducted? As absurd as it sounds, these ten people actually attempted it. They thought that they could get away with their ill written script, but their plans miserably failed. Here are 10 stories of people who tried to fake their own abductions but were eventually caught.
1. Jason Laperriere: 8½ months in prison.
On April 24, 2012, Jason Laperriere from Ontario, Canada, was cruising around when he met a woman. He brought her back home, shared some of his contraband with her and the two had a one-night stand. At 3 o’clock in the morning, reality hit Jason, whose girlfriend was worried and was calling him to know his whereabouts. Jason managed to cook up a story and even convinced his new ‘friend’ to be a part of it. The woman sent a message to his girlfriend, claiming that Jason was forced into a blue car over a $12,000 debt with his dealer.
Jason then called his girlfriend and pretended that he was being held hostage while the “non-existent” men were searching to find his girlfriend’s house. His girlfriend panicked, and for her own safety, called the police. Authorities rushed to the house and as they were gathering information, Jason turned up. He then had to relay his made-up story to officers, who in turn, put out a Canada-wide warning about the armed and dangerous suspects.
However, when Jason was questioned back at headquarters, they noticed discrepancies. When confronted with the evidence that his story was a lie, Jason confessed. For falsifying a police report, as well as wasting police resources, Jason was sentenced to six months in jail and was banned from contacting his girlfriend again. After he was taken to jail, Jason violated his terms and made a phone call to his girlfriend in an effort to get back together with her. Since he violated the terms of his sentence, he was sentenced to an additional two and half months in prison. (source)
2. Jessica Nordquist: 4½ years in prison.
26-year-old Jessica Nordquist from Alaska was having a wonderful life. Her dreams were coming true after being hired by an east London PR firm. In July of 2017, she met Mark Weeks while working at her new job. The two connected extremely fast but their relationship ended abruptly. Jessica, however, had no plans to let Mark go without a fight. She started a smear campaign against him by sending text messages to his co-workers, friends and family members. She started making fake online accounts and spent hours, claiming to be other women who were victims of Mark.
She then stepped up the game when she bought a baby bump on Amazon and claimed that she was pregnant. Mark became extremely scared of Jessica and started isolating himself from the world. This wasn’t enough for Jessica, though, as she then went on to fake her own abduction. She took pictures of herself tied up and emailed them to co-workers and to Mark’s family. By this time, Mark’s life was ruined since the police were involved. The police searched Jessica’s home, where they found a note claiming that she was abducted by Mark, but authorities found it to be a bit too suspicious.
Two days after the alleged abduction, authorities tracked Jessica’s phone to a bed and breakfast in Aviemore in the Scottish Highlands. When authorities questioned her, she gave them a false name and even ditched her two cellphones. They arrested her and took her to court where the judge found her guilty of deliberately trying to ruin Mark’s life. Jessica and her lawyer claimed that her traumatic childhood was the reason behind her behavior, but the judge did not consider their excuse. Judge Paul Southern at Snaresbrook Crown Court charged her with stalking, sending malicious communications and perverting the course of justice and sentenced her to 4½ years in prison. She was fired from her job and is also banned for life from making any attempt to contact Mark or his family members. (source)
3. Maria Gonzalez: Authorities are currently trying to build a case against her for a misdemeanor offense.
California resident Maria Gonzalez, 32, owns a trucking business. On September 24, 2018, Maria showed up at her house, half bound and bruised. She claimed that she was driving with $9,000 – the amount that was supposed to be paid to her employees – when she was abducted by two masked men. According to Maria’s version of events, she was driving down a dirt road, when she saw two stray dogs. She stopped to try to help them, but was intercepted by two men who forced her into the car, took her money, tied her up, assaulted her and left.
When authorities questioned her, they understood that Maria had fabricated the story. There was no evidence inside her vehicle that indicated the presence of anyone other than her. Authorities also searched the area that she claimed to be, when she was abducted and found only one set of footprints; which were Maria’s. A two-day investigation and 2.5 hours of interrogation revealed that Maria did not have the $9,000 to pay her employees and she had made up the story to cover her tracks. Sadly for her, authorities are now working to charge her with a misdemeanor for wasting police resources as well as falsifying police reports. (source)
4. Caitlin Rose Pare: Four months of house arrest, followed by eight months of living under a curfew. After that, 18 months of probation and she must also undergo counseling.
On November 14, 2013, Caitlin Rose Pare, who was 25-years-old and a mother of one, faked an abduction story. Previously, Pare had encountered a back injury while on her job and the doctor had prescribed her painkillers. She quickly became addicted to them and soon, her addiction spiraled out of control. After she built up a $350 debt to her dealer, she hatched up the plan of pretending to be abducted by her dealer; who would only let her go if the amount was paid. Pare sent text messages to her mother describing her ordeal, but her worried mother informed authorities instead.
When authorities heard the story, they became suspicious and decided to ping her phone. After receiving Pane’s location, they setup surveillance, as well as a phony check in the amount of $350. They then called the number and found that Pane herself was picking up the calls; which lead to more suspicion. The officers informed her that they had a check with the desired cash at a drop off location and informed her to pass the information to her captors.
Armed police officers then waited and discovered a man picking up the check. After arresting the man and questioning him, it became apparent that he had no knowledge of the incident. Pane had lied to him and told him that she was on the phone with her parents all day and they had agreed to pay some money to support her. After letting the man go, authorities arrested Pane after tracing her call. When confronted, Pane acknowledged that she had indeed lied about the incident. Officers spent more than 250 hours trying to save her. For wasting resources and falsifying reports, Pane was sentenced to four months of house arrest, followed by eight months of living under a curfew. After that, 18 months of probation and she must also undergo counseling. (source)
5. Ankita Lavender: Charges unknown since the crime was committed while she was a juvenile.
Love can make you do some crazy things, but probably not as crazy as the things in this story. On April 27, 2014, Florida resident Ankita, who was 16 at the time, made a false story about being abducted after her boyfriend split up with her. After learning that her boyfriend had ended their relationship, she tweeted: ‘If I disappeared, it wouldn’t even be a problem’. Two days later, she suddenly disappeared, then called her father and informed him that two men had pulled her into a white truck. Her family immediately alerted police, who issued an Amber alert and 40 officers were dispatched, pulling over any and all white trucks.
According to Jacksonville’s WTEV, the search lasted for four hours and cost between $5,000 and $7,000; with choppers, armed police officers and volunteers looking for the missing teen. The search ended when they found her on the side of the road, lying on her back. She informed the first responders that she was thrown out of the truck by her abductors. The officers found no cuts, bruises or signs of her alleged claim, so they kept her overnight and questioned her.
Authorities also found tweets she made four days before the incident, where she said, ‘MIA for a while’. When confronted with the evidence, she confessed that it was all a hoax to get sympathy from her ex-boyfriend. Although police could file a misdemeanor against her, the information is not made public, since she had committed the crime while she was still a juvenile. (source)
6. Jonathon Michael Davis: Scheduled to appear in court on March 9, 2019.
On March 1, 2018, Jonathon Michael Davis’s family members called police to inform them that Jonathan had been missing since February 27th. They stated that Jonathon had been abducted and that they had been receiving messages demanding money for his release. When authorities arrived, they found that the perpetrators were demanding $375 for his release and then sent the family members a picture of a broken finger. Authorities informed the FBI and the U.S. Marshals. After high priority officers examined the messages, they became suspicious and searched for “broken finger” in Google. To their surprise, the image was the same as the first search result.
Understanding that it was a false report, authorities tracked Jonathon’s cellphone and discovered that he was in a casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Within five hours of reporting him missing, authorities walked inside the casino and nabbed him. Authorities took his cellphone as evidence, since it contained the downloaded image from Google, as well as the threatening messages he sent to his family members. He is due to appear on court this coming March. (source)
7. Rogelio Andaverde: Charged with a Class B misdemeanor and spent 19 days in jail.
In 2013, Rogelio Andaverde wanted to go out and party with his friends but did not want his wife to know. So, Andaverde hatched a plan with two of his friends to conduct a live abduction. On October 4, 2013, when Andaverde and his wife were home, two masked men walked in, nabbed him and walked out the door. The frantic wife immediately called police, who immediately dispatched helicopters, search and rescue dogs, and armed police officers in an effort to find him.
The search turned up no results, but two days later, Andaverde walked in his home and explained that the perpetrators had let him go. Authorities weren’t convinced with Andaverde’s story, so they did a follow up, where they discovered discrepancies. When confronted by deputies, Andaverde confessed that he had indeed planned it with his friends for a two-day party. He pleaded guilty for falsifying a police report, which is a Class B misdemeanor. Andaverde also spent 19 days in jail before being released. It’s unknown whether Andaverde’s wife ever let him back inside his home. (source)
8. Aftab Aslam: Three felony counts each of false statements, tampering with evidence, and terroristic threats.
On April 27, 2013, Aftab Aslam, a 19-year-old student at Gwinnett College in Lilburn, Georgia, flunked his English exam. Afraid of what his parents would do, he went to Target, bought a burner phone and texted his parents. The texts claimed that their son was taken by some armed men and informed them to not contact police, since his life depended on it. Aslam’s concerned parents contacted police anyway, who then informed the FBI. The FBI agents immediately tracked his phone and found that he was hiding in a corn field.
To make things worse for Aslam, the FBI agents also recovered surveillance footage from the Target store showing him purchasing the burner phone. After understanding that it was a false report, they changed the investigation to a missing persons case. Aslam camped out in the corn field for eight days until the weather turned bad, forcing him to go back home. There, he was greeted by police officers. Aslam claimed that two masked men had taken him and released him without harm.
Authorities cross-examined Aslam and he confessed to planning the entire thing. His fear of parents finding out about his bad grades ended in him being charged with falsely reporting a crime, making false statements, tampering with evidence and making terroristic threats. He was released on a $9,000 bond. (source)
9. Jennifer Wilbanks: Two years of probation, 120 hours of community service, ongoing mental-health counseling, and also ordered to pay the sheriff’s office $2,550.
Weddings can be extremely stressful for some. The big day means your whole life changes forever. Jennifer Wilbanks was scheduled to marry her then fiancee, John Mason, in April of 2005. The couple planned for a huge event with more than 600 guests but just days before the final day, Jennifer vanished without a trace. Her concerned fiancee called all hospitals, searched for her all over the city, and when the day of the wedding passed, informed police.
John then received a phone call from Jennifer, claiming that she was taken by two individuals; a Latino man and caucasian woman, who had nabbed and assaulted her. Her family pleaded to the abductors for her safe return, putting ads in newspapers, as well as on cable networks. Three days later, Jennifer returned unharmed. The FBI was already involved by this time and when an agent confronted her, explaining that her story made absolutely no sense, she broke down and confessed.
John called the wedding off and a judge sentenced her to two years of probation, 120 hours of community service and ongoing mental-health counseling. The judge also ordered her to pay the sheriff’s office $2,550 to cover some of the costs of searching for her. Jennifer also agreed to pay $13,250 to the city of Duluth, GA, to help pay for the overtime costs the city incurred searching for her. (source)
10. Bonnie Sweeten: Eight years in prison.
Bonnie Sweeten enjoyed a lavish lifestyle; something she couldn’t afford. However, she funded her extraordinary lifestyle by stealing $640,000 from the firm she worked for and obtained a loan of $150,000, all the while stealing $280,000 from an elderly relative. Authorities were tracking Sweeten by this time and she became aware of the fact that they were on to her. Afraid of being caught, Sweeten emptied her bank accounts, stole a co-workers license, and booked a flight to Disney World.
While boarding the flight with her daughter, Sweeten called 911, claiming that she was abducted along with her daughter. Authorities knew that something was wrong and a brief investigation revealed her plans. She was arrested from Disney World and sentenced to eight years in prison for the false story, as well as swindling innocent people of their life savings. (source)