Dateline   |  April 21, 2014

Ransom, Part 1

A husband gets a frantic phone call from his wife that she was just kidnapped from their $4 million ocean-front home in Florida.  The call will change their lives forever.  Dateline NBC's Josh Mankiewicz reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> this is the sheriff's office.

>> my wife made a phone call to me a minute ago to say that she was held by gunpoint.

>> businessman reid gray was on the line with the sheriff's office in a panic. he told the 911 operator his wife had just phoned him minutes earlier to say she had been kidnapped. the call would turn out to be just the beginning of an unbelievable saga that would baffle investigators and turn this husband's life upside down. the next few days would bring one setback after another. and no one could have predicted how it all would come to an end. it was around 5:00 p.m . september 4th , 2009 . reid 's wife, quinn , had called him at work and told him she had just been kidnapped right out of their $4 million home. reid couldn't believe what he'd heard. he went to his office parking lot to try and think straight.

>> did he tell you where she was at?

>> no. there is a note at the house.

>> the news was as shocking as it was terrifying. quinn , a mom of two young daughters, was a trained nurse who was now raising her children full time. her husband was a self-made man who finally hit it big in the health care business. this frightened husband told the 911 operator he didn't know what to do next.

>> he said if i call the police, they will shoot me dead.

>> a gun's a gun, man.

>> reid gray took a gamble and did just the opposite of what his wife had told him. soon, multiple law enforcement agencies would be on the case.

>> check and make sure that fire rescue is going to be coordinating with us.

>> st. john's county sheriff , david shore .

>> all bets are off, there's nothing more important than a victim who's being held against their will and who has been threatened with homicide, so you roll out what you have.

>> while reid went to the sheriff's office, a s.w.a.t. team was deployed to his home. they cautiously entered the multimillion dollar residence. the house sat eerily empty. a photo album opened on a couch, a happy quinn on her wedding day. crime scene techs swept inside and out, looking for fingerprints, tire tracks. any clues to the kidnapper's identities. on the dining room table, they found a sheet of yellow paper, the ransom note , it looked to be in quinn gray 's handwriting. dear reid , i need you to read this and be calm. reid , do not be a hero, this is professional and there are three men holding me right now and they want $50,000 cash. i will be okay if you get them the money.

>> what do you know about the victim?

>> we knew she was a housewife raising children, in one of the prettier parts of our county.

>> reid and quinn gray were new to st. john's county, having just moved into their beach front home in pawn donte vedra.

>> i don't want to use the term the perfect kidnapping victim, but it fit.

>> and her husband made a lot of money.

>> worst case scenario , we make one wrong move and they kill her.

>> on the day quinn was kidnapped, the 37-year-old pta mom had made appointments for her daughters to have hair cuts and she was far along in the upcoming party for one of her daughter's birthdays. now reid tried to shield the 8 and 6-year-olds from the news that their mom's life was in danger. he picked up the girls from school and took them to a friend's house, while he waited at the sheriff's office. reid was still in his shirt and tie from work, and he was an emotional wreck. he shared more details about quinn 's three frantic calls to him hours earlier.

>> she said there was somebody with a gun pointed to her head.

>> on that call she said there were three kidnappers and they were albanian. the $50,000 ransom was to pay back money reid had borrowed from a loan shark , but reid gray insisted he didn't owe money to anyone.

>> 50 grand doesn't do much.

>> why ask for only $50,000 from a man that was making more than $1 million a year? reid didn't know and neither did investigators. at this point there was only one goal, quinn 's safe return.

>> it was very disconcerting to realize that we had a housewife and mother of two small children in whatever she was going through, it wasn't good.

>> and there was something else that wasn't good. this investigation was starting with no witnesses, no clues to the kidnappers' identities and, more important, no answers to the question where