Dateline   |  April 21, 2014

Ransom, Part 5

The kidnappers send a "proof of life" photo of Quinn. Is she really alive and well?

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

>>> it was sunday afternoon, almost two full days since quinn was abducted. and after a terrible morning when the money drop at the crab shack restaurant turned so disastrous, a text message , apparently from quinn , was sent to her mom's cell phone around 2:00 p.m . mom, please no cops. i am so sorry about all of this. but they are pissed and i want to see my girls. the fbi's hostage negotiator was tony kravith.

>> do you think about the kids in a situation like this?

>> absolutely. you can not. reid made arrangements for them to stay elsewhere so they'll be shielded by this. we're in the business of preserving life. that's what we do.

>> do you think quinn , maybe she's not even alive anymore?

>> we don't know. we don't know for sure.

>> investigators were becoming increasingly worried because they hadn't actually heard quinn 's voice since the day before. then at about 5:25 that evening, another text message came in to quinn 's mom's phone. i do not get access to my phone. have reid check his e-mail, pic of me taken. did he get all of the money? and in reid 's echt mail, there was this photo of quinn .

>> what can you tell from this photo?

>> well, it certainly looked to me as though quinn was very distraught, maybe had been crying. she didn't look like quinn at all, not at all.

>> the photo was taken using a cell phone and the background could be anywhere. but investigators got lucky, because there's a little known technology built into that photo, and it offered investigators a huge break.

>> they didn't know that a photograph taken on an iphone and e-mailed to somebody else has gps coordinants on it?

>> yes.

>> i didn't know that.

>> yes. we were very quickly able to check the photograph and find the gps coordinants in there. we knew exactly where that photograph had been taken.

>> investigators rushed to this location in jacksonville.

>> how long after you looked at that photograph did you have agents headed to the scene where it was taken?

>> minutes.

>> but there was no one there. later that night, the kidnappers called back and quinn 's mother, again at the urging of the fbi, kept up a tough negotiating stance.

>> i want quinn in my car, i'm just warning you. i'm not giving you the money until you have quinn in the car.

>> i'm telling you what to do.

>> i'm telling you what i'm going to do.

>> did that aggressive approach seem to work?

>> i think so. i really think so.

>> another ransom drop was planned.

>> all right, i talk to her first, i see her and she walks across and gets in my car.

>> ma'am, i'm making the decision, not you.

>> no, no, i'm sorry, but i am going see my daughter and i'm going to have her in my car. i've got your [ bleep ] money. let me see my daughter and i want her in my car. do you understand?

>> was this at last the end of this ordeal? it was not. because the kidnappers never showed, and quinn 's mom returned home. that's when investigators realized they had a new problem.

>> deputies in st. johns county are looking for a pawn tee veed ra woman didn't return home.

>> a story broke on the news. a story investigators had been trying to keep out press.

>> you weren't expecting that?

>> i wasn't. we had it pretty fortunate to go a couple days without it being on the news. quite frankly, we don't want them to see it either.

>> but the kidnappers did see it and they were not happy. quinn 's mom received a text. why is she on the news?

>> that was one of those, oh, boy. you know, oh, boy. now what are we going to do with this one?

>> remember, the kidnappers had threatened quinn 's life if police became involved. the fact it was now hard to deny since it was on the news. so investigators came up with a cover story . the deputies found quinn 's abandoned mercedes suv and came to her multimillion dollar home to make sure she was okay. they had quinn 's mom send a text.

>> quinn , the police have found your car. they came here and they are now searching for you. call me, as i am now very worried. i love you. mom.

>> did the kidnappers seem to buy that?

>> yes, they did.

>> but that good news would be short-lived as the next call from quinn would send everyone into a panic.