WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (WGHP) — A 17-year-old boy seemingly kidnapped for ransom was never in any danger after all, according to Winston-Salem police.
At about 1:08 a.m. Monday, police received a call that a teenager was kidnapped from an address on the 500 block of North Martin Luther King Drive in Winston-Salem. At the scene, officers learned members of the teen’s family had been getting text messages and pictures claiming that “(the 17-year-old) had been kidnapped and they needed to give the kidnappers money or else he would be killed.”
Hours later, an Amber Alert was issued for the missing teen, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.
In a post on Twitter, Winston-Salem police confirmed that the child was “safely located.” Officers later sent out a news release explaining that the teen had been found at about 8 a.m. on the 500 block of North Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
“Upon further investigation, detectives determined the report of Gasga-Espinoza being kidnapped was false,” police said in the release.
The teenager was released into the custody of his mother.