She got a photo of her grandson tied up, demanding $1,000, but she didn’t pay up.

On Monday afternoon, an Alabama woman received a disturbing picture on her phone from her grandson, Preston Kelley. Kelley, 23, appeared to be bound and beaten in the photo, and in a subsequent message he told her he was being held captive in a wooded area...

She got a photo of her grandson tied up, demanding $1,000, but she didn’t pay up.

On Monday afternoon, an Alabama woman received a disturbing picture on her phone from her grandson, Preston Kelley.

Kelley, 23, appeared to be bound and beaten in the photo, and in a subsequent message he told her he was being held captive in a wooded area of Tennessee by men who would kill him if she did not go to Walmart and send $1,000 to them, per AL.com.

The woman, who was unnamed in media reports, did not send the money.

Instead, she contacted the police, scared for her grandson’s safety.

“As anyone would have been, she was scared and worried about her grandson,” Lauderdale County sheriff’s investigator Lt. Brad Potts said.

But in the ensuing investigation, officials determined that Kelley was not only not in Tennessee, he had not been kidnapped and was simply trying to extort money from his family member, per the Times Daily.

“He never got any money,” Potts said. “The grandmother came straight to us.”

Kelley was arrested for first degree extortion, a Class B felony in Alabama that carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The Associated Press reports that under questioning Kelley insisted that he actually had been kidnapped.

Ironically enough, Kelley’s bail at the Lauderdale County jail has been set at $1,000, the exact amount he was seeking from his grandmother.

Alabama along with several other states have laws in place dedicated to prevent the financial exploitation of the elderly. While there is a lack of national statistics on financial elder abuse, it is widely believed to be an underreported crime, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. In Alabama, extorting $1,000 from an elderly person is a Class C felony, but Kelley has not been charged with that crime.

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