Cops say a Houston man has confessed to lying to authorities after they say he fabricated a story that his infant child was inside his car when it was stolen early Thursday morning in hopes that the police would search for his vehicle quicker.
Anthony Gray, 38, called 911 just after 5 a.m. Thursday, saying his Jeep Cherokee had been stolen from a gas station with his son inside the car, according to reports.
Gray said the men, possibly in their 20s, jumped out of red Kia Optima, got into his vehicle and took off with it, according to Click2Houston.
However, the father then claimed that his infant son was in it, which led cops to take immediate action to find the child with alerts going out to all local news stations and on social media, Click2Houston reported.
After the news broke across the local stations, a relative of Gray’s called police to say the child was safe and sound with them, according to ABC13.
Cops say that around 7 a.m., deputies found the Jeep Cherokee three miles away from the gas station at a house, according to ABC13.
Just after 10 a.m., Sgt. Beall confirmed with ABC13 that the infant was with his grandmother the entire time and never in the car with the father. The grandmother lives about a half mile from the gas station, according to Maj. Susan Cotter of HCSO, who told ABC13.
Cops then claimed that Gray told them that he lied to them about his son being in the Jeep so that they would look faster and more vigorously, according to reports.
Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of the Harris County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed the news on Twitter.
“HCSO Investigators have determined the infant was never with him. Child was at a relative’s house, and male claims he falsified the kidnapping to get a better response to his stolen vehicle. Anthony Ray Gray (38) has been arrested and charged with Filing a False Report,” he wrote.
Gray reportedly bonded out Friday morning, according to Click2Houston. It remains unclear if he has legal representation and if he has entered a plea.
Inside Edition Digital has reached out to the HCSO office for comment and has not heard back.