Dateline | April 21, 2014
>>> reid gray, husband, father, and successful businessman was at the sheriff's office near his expensive home in ponte vedra , florida, a wealthy community about 20 miles south of jacksonville. his wife, quinn , was kidnapped just a few hours earlier. the ransom, $50,000.
>> i'm not going to be to work, sleep, eat, breathe, until this is resolved.
>> one thing you have to understand is that in the modern day marketplace of crime, kidnapping for ransom is practically an antique. here's why. it's not difficult to abduct a family member of a rich person, but things like improved technical surveillance, cooperation between law enforcement agencies , even caller i.d. now make it just about impossible to pick up ransom money and escape undetected. as a result, the kind of kidnapping you see in the movies pretty much exists only in hollywood. but for reid gray, this was frightening, nerve-racking reality.
>> no prior trouble with any kind of phone calls in the middle of the night , no strange noises around the house, anything like that, right?
>> married for almost nine years, reid told investigators his relationship with quinn was better than ever and that the couple was even thinking about having another child.
>> she's just an amazing friend. she's taking the girls to dance, taking the girls to all of the after school programs.
>> she was a wonderful daughter, yes.
>> quinn 's name, gayle sykes.
>> that's very difficult for a mother to say that has four daughters. she was absolutely the sweetest of all the children.
>> that night reid called his mother-in-law with the devastating news.
>> i was just completely in shock. as a mother, that's your worst nightmare. manling what imagining what's happening to your child.
>> what do you think quinn is going through at that point?
>> being tortured, tied up, fearing for her life, fearing that she would never see her children again.
>> while quinn 's mom waited for news at her georgia home, reid stayed at the sheriff's office until about 2:00 a.m . he then returned to his house while his kids stayed with friends. early the next morning, saturday, about 16 hours after quinn 's kidnapping, reid sent a text to his wife's phone. haven't slept all night. please tell me you're all right. but there was no reply. about two hours later, reid , who is now with investigators, finally got a call. it was quinn , and reid became emotional.
>> what do i need to do?
>> they'll call you back. i don't know. they'll call you back, okay?
>> all right, i love you. she said they'll call me back in a few minutes.
>> investigators wired up the phone so they could record all the calls. sheriff shore was surprised to hear quinn 's voice.
>> historically, the kidnappers don't let the victims communicate.
>> and in this case it was quinn 's voice on the phone.
>> the advantage of that for the kidnappers is you don't ever hear their voice.
>> that's true.
>> the sheriff rolled out his mobile command unit to a secluded area near quinn and reid 's home. from inside, he started directing the more than 100 law enforcement personnel who were working this case. they waited for the next contact from the kidnappers. and then about 45 minutes after that last call, reid 's phone rang again. the cell reception was poor, but quinn gave reid a location for a money drop.
>> just get in the car with the money and go down and take a left on --
>> i've got to write it down.
>> just go. just do it now, please. reid .
>> butler boulevard , hello?
>> the conversation abruptly ended and quinn sounded angry. it was easy to imagine the tremendous stress she must be under. reid was growing increasingly worried for his wife's safety.
>> remain calm. she's probably going to call back again.
>> the first time she was screaming, crying, help.
>> reid stayed at the sheriff's office as surveillance teams scrambled to get in place at butler boulevard . investigators also needed more time to get $50,000 cash together for the ransom. but only 30 minutes later, another call came in.
>> it was quinn again, instructing reid to head to a different location. he was now to go to a chick-fil-a restaurant.
>> take the convertible top down and wait in the parking lot .
>> i want to see you. i want to exchange you for the money. i am not giving the money without you. hello?
>> now investigators rushed to get teams in undercover cars in place at the chick-fil-a. but before reid left for the chick-fil-a, he got yet another call. there was a problem at the money drop point.
>> they spotted three fed cars near chick-fil-a, so i don't know where i'm going now. you need to wait for more instructions.
>> were the sheriff's undercover team spotted at the chick-fil-a? is that what quinn met by fed cars? a few minutes later on reid 's cell phone came an ominous text from quinn . i know you want me dead. reid texted back i don't know if that's quinn . i have your $50,000. stop with me, just give me my wife. there was no reply. investigators brought reid back to his house and parked in the driveway. they set up a mini command center in the house, using a recorder to tape all incoming calls, and that's when something happened that no one expected.
>> we sent the detectives to that home and we didn't do it sur tishsly.
>> they walked in the front door.
>> they pulled in in an unmarked vehicle. the minute they pulled in, we received a text from the victim.
>> reid got another text on his cell phone . wait for instructions, you've -- up twice already. you involved other people. whose ford is in the driveway? the ford was an unmarked sheriff's vehicle.
>> they're watching the house?
>> they're watching the house.
>> fearing they were being watched by the kidnappers, the sheriff ordered all his personnel to go covert and get out of sight.
>> we were watching ourselves to see if they were watching us.
>> the kidnappers, they have got you looking over your own shoulder.
>> yes, that's exactly right.
>> what does that say that they were playing by a different set of rules.
>> it was probably one of the earliest indications to me that this case was not going to turn out like a lot of people assumed.