• Police: Baldwin Park teen faked own kidnapping for ransom money


    ORLANDO, Fla.,None - The Orlando teenager who police said faked his own kidnapping faced a judge in south Florida Wednesday.

    Investigators said 17-year-old Kevin Ashton and 23-year-old Joshua Pee made up the story together to swindle $50,000 from Ashton's parents.

    It took two days for FBI agents and police officers to track down Ashton and Pee. Both found themselves in front of judge Wednesday afternoon.

    Ashton is from Baldwin Park in Orlando, but this story begins in Delray Beach on Sunday.

    That morning, the 17-year-old vanished from the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic. Later that day his parents received a call, saying he had been kidnapped.

    Federal agents say Pee, who is from Delray Beach, went to a Walmart in his area to buy a cellphone to call Ashton's parents.

    When they picked up the phone, according to the report, Pee asked for a $50,000 ransom for the safe return of their son.

    By Tuesday morning, cops had tracked Ashton and Pee to a Budget Inn motel room.

    Detectives said Pee made a run for it and was tased and tackled. He denied having any involvement in the elaborate lie.

    Ashton gave up without a fight and admitted to officers that the two hatched the scheme to get money from his dad.

    The Ashtons weren't home Wednesday because they were in court, but his neighbors were available.

    "It is really shocking. He's a really good kid. He's good in school and he's in an amazing family," neighbor Cynthia Madsen said.

    She said she has a hard time believing Ashton come up with this plot himself.

    "There has to be something else to the story," Madsen said.

    Pee and Ashton face several charges, including grand theft. Pee has been arrested in the past for burglary.

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