SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

June 18, 2013

Woman admits story was a hoax

Says kidnapping tale a ruse to avoid DUI charges

BEVERLY — A woman who claimed she was kidnapped by two masked men admitted to police that she made up the story to avoid being arrested for drunken driving.

Maria Brayfield, 24, of 13 Pleasant St., Beverly, was found by two passers-by in the trunk of her Ford Focus on Route 128 north near exit 17 in Wenham about 3:30 a.m. yesterday.

The passers-by thought they had come upon an accident. When they approached the Ford Focus, they heard a woman yelling from inside the car, police said.

The passers-by smashed the back window of the car and found the woman under the cargo cover in the back of the hatchback, police said.

Brayfield told police she had been abducted by two masked men wearing black who had broken into her apartment. They ordered her to get into her car and drive, then locked her in the back of her hatchback on Route 128, she told police.

But in an interview with detectives just before noon, Brayfield admitted that she made the story up, police Chief Mark Ray said. She told detectives that she was intoxicated and was worried she would be arrested for drunken driving.

Ray said it’s not clear if the woman had been in an accident or had simply driven off the road onto a grassy area along the highway.

Brayfield will be summonsed and charged with filing a false police report, said Officer Michael Boccuzzi, the department spokesman.

“As a public safety agency, we’re responsible for following leads, whatever they may be, from start to finish,” Boccuzzi said. “When it broke, of course we were in an active investigation looking for two males wearing all black.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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