Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lily, Rosemary, & the Jack of Hearts

This must have seemed like a good idea at the time. Fake your kidnapping with your lover and then extort money from your clueless husband. Fla. Cops: Wife Faked Own Kidnapping to Scam Husband
A wealthy health care executive came home one night in September to find a terrifying note from his wife, Quinn Gray: The 37-year-old housewife and mother of two had been abducted from her posh Florida beach community.


The ordeal began the night of Sept. 4, when Gray's husband, 38-year-old Reid Gray, discovered his wife's note at their $4 million seaside mansion.

Reid Gray called the St. John's County Sheriff's Office, touching off a multi-agency manhunt that included the FBI. The sheriff's office would eventually spend $90,000 on the investigation.

The next day, as sheriff's officials set up a command center for the investigation, Reid Gray received the first of at least six calls from his wife. According to a report, Quinn Gray demanded her husband drop the $50,000 at a Chik-Fil-A restaurant; when he drove to the area, Quinn called again and said he had "screwed up" because police were spotted nearby.

On Sept. 6, Quinn Gray's mother dropped $50,000 at a beach restaurant; a group of college kids picked up the money and called police, frantic that they were in the middle of a "dope deal."

On Sept. 7, the case took an odd turn: an agitated Quinn Gray walked up to deputies at a local mall. She was taken to the FBI office in Jacksonville, where she told agents that her kidnapper worked for a loan shark who wanted her husband to pay up.

Detective Kevin Kerr and others were skeptical, noting Gray seemed to be making up the story as she went along.

During another interview, Quinn Gray changed her story. She said she had been sexually assaulted and that "I was crazy then, I was just doing what I was told to do."

She did give police one telling detail: Her abductor's name was Jasmin, and he drove a white Volkswagen Jetta. She also directed investigators to the warehouse where she was held.

Detectives found Jasmin Osmanovic, driving out of the warehouse in his Jetta. He eventually wrote his version of events in an affidavit.

"I met Quinn Gray about a month and a half ago. We met at a gas station," wrote the young mechanic. He described going to her house and listening to her talk about her marital problems and her issues with drinking _ she had nearly split up with Reid Gray and had gone to rehab at a tony Minnesota clinic. Her husband had affairs, she said, and she wondered if he wanted her dead.

It would have worked except for a meddling tape recorder.

Osmanovic touched on one piece of evidence: an audiotape he and Quinn Gray made that weekend. Osmanovic's live-in girlfriend found it and gave it to officers. The recording captured the sounds of Gray and Osmanovic having sex, plotting the kidnapping and talking about mundane things, like how they needed to eat more salads.

Sheriff Shoar said Osmanovic felt that Gray was acting "hinky" and covertly made the recording.

"He is not a dumb guy. He is a very smart guy," Shoar said. "He wanted some proof and reassurance in case she tried to hang him out to dry."

The lover is toast, but Quinn may yet get out of this. She remains pretty and charming enough that her husband is funding her defense.
Interestingly, Gray's husband _ the owner of a home health care company who detailed the couple's long, painful history of marital infidelity during hours of police interviews _ is standing by his wife. Against the advice of friends and family, he is not seeking a divorce.

"I love my family," Reid Gray wrote in a statement to the media. "And will do whatever I can to make sure that Quinn receives all of the help and support that she needs."

The husband is a wealthy health care executive. Time for him to put some of that money to work buying a clue.

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