, Salem, MA

Local News

June 28, 2013

Details of kidnap hoax emerge from court papers

Hoax: Police say woman's story changed many times


Those documents, including police reports and witness statements, describe how two Gloucester men were driving on Route 128 when they spotted a car off the road.

Concerned that there might have been an accident, they pulled over. Then, they told police, they heard yelling from inside the car. “Help me, it was Albanians,” they say she yelled.

Unable to figure out how to open the hatchback, they grabbed a bat and smashed the back window.

Brayfield told the men that she had been forced into the trunk outside her home and driven there.

That was at odds with what she would later tell police, who say she told them that she was forced to drive her own car until they reached the spot where she was found, then ordered into the trunk.

Meanwhile, other officers went to Brayfield’s apartment, where they found the house dark and the door locked. No one heard their knocking. The property manager was contacted, but he didn’t have the correct key.

Ultimately, the fire department forced open the door. Three men and a woman, all of Brayfield’s roommates, were awakened by the noise.

None had heard anything that sounded like a kidnapping. The roommate who had the bedroom next to Brayfield told an officer he had heard footsteps at various times during the night and, around 3 a.m., the sound of someone “stumbling around,” but that there was nothing unusual about that. He said he’d gone back to sleep.

Still, Brayfield’s bedroom appeared to be in some disarray — a lamp was tipped over, her laptop still on but thrown face-down on the bed, a box of items and a wastebasket both tipped over.

Brayfield offered shifting accounts of her night, telling one officer that she had encountered five Albanian men at the Black Lobster, where she was drinking with a male friend. They offered her a ride, but her friend drove her home, and, she told the first officer, she believed the men had followed them.

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