A wealthy health care executive came home one night in September to find a terrifying note from his wife, Quinn Gray: The 37-year-old housewife and mother of two had been abducted from her posh Florida beach community.
"There are three men holding me right now and they want $50,000 cash," Gray wrote. "Do not do anything stupid. NO COPS!"
Authorities say the 25-year-old mechanic charged with trying to extort thousands from Gray's husband wasn't her captor — but her accomplice and lover. Her husband, however, has stuck by his wife's side.
Gray said she went along with her captor's demands, eventually having audiotaped sex with him. Gray says she wasn't scheming, but went insane and started to believe the kidnapper's claims that her husband wanted her dead.
"I wish I knew how to write a screenplay, because if I did, I'd make some money off this story," said St. John's County Sheriff David Shoar.
The made-for-TV intrigue has everyone from TMZ.com to Oprah Winfrey's producers nosing around this exclusive community to seek salacious details of a pretty blonde's downfall.
Gray's Facebook page shows photos of her husband and two young daughters. Her interests were fairly typical: She liked the TV show "Lost," biking and rapper Flo Rida ("When I'm really silly," she wrote). She drove a Mercedes wagon and read books like Eckhart Tolle's "The Power of Now."
Started Sept. 4
The ordeal began the night of Sept. 4, when Gray's husband, 38-year-old Reid Gray, discovered his wife's note from his wife at their $4 million seaside mansion.
Reid Gray called the St. John's County Sheriff's Office, touching off a multi-agency manhunt that included the FBI. The sheriff's office would eventually spend $90,000 on the investigation.
The next day, as sheriff's officials set up a command center for the investigation, Reid Gray received the first of at least six calls from his wife. According to a report, Quinn Gray demanded her husband drop the $50,000 at a Chik-Fil-A restaurant; when he drove to the area, Quinn called again and said he had "screwed up" because police were spotted nearby.
On Sept. 6, Quinn Gray's mother dropped $50,000 at a beach restaurant; a group of college kids picked up the money and called police, frantic that they were in the middle of a "dope deal."
On Sept. 7, the case took an odd turn: an agitated Quinn Gray walked up to deputies at a local mall. She was taken to the FBI office in Jacksonville, where she told agents that her kidnapper worked for a loan shark who wanted her husband to pay up.
Detective Kevin Kerr and others were skeptical, noting Gray seemed to making up the story as she went along.
During another interview, Quinn Gray changed her story. She said she had been sexually assaulted and that "I was crazy then, I was just doing what I was told to do."
Some details helpful
She did give police three telling details: her abductor's name was Jasmin, and he drove a white Volkswagen Jetta. She also directed investigators to the warehouse where she was held.
Detectives found Jasmin Osmanovic, driving out of the warehouse in his Jetta. He eventually wrote his version of events in an affidavit.
"I met Quinn Gray about a month and a half ago. We met at a gas station," wrote the young mechanic. He described going to her house and listening to her talk about her marital problems and her issues with drinking — she had nearly split up with Reid Gray and had gone to rehab at a tony Minnesota clinic. Her husband had affairs, she said, and she wondered if he wanted her dead.
On Labor Day weekend, Osmanovic said, the two spent time together — but he didn't know right away that she was plotting the kidnapping. They went to a hotel, where he left her alone several times — she could have left at any point, he said.
Osmanovic touched on one piece of evidence: an audiotape he and Quinn Gray made that weekend. Osmanovic's live-in girlfriend found it and gave it to officers. The recording captured the sounds of Gray and Osmanovic having sex, plotting the kidnapping and talking about mundane things, like how they needed to eat more salads.
Sheriff Shoar said Osmanovic felt that Gray was acting "hinky" and covertly made the recording.
"He is not a dumb guy. He is a very smart guy," Shoar said. "He wanted some proof and reassurance in case she tried to hang him out to dry."
Osmanovic was charged with extortion and is being held at the St. John's County Jail. Gray was also charged with extortion and is being treated at a psychiatric facility.
Osmanovic's lawyers won't comment. Neither will Gray's lawyers, citing a pending gag order in the case. Earlier in the week, however, the lawyers went on national TV to talk about Gray's long history of mental illness and how she eventually identified with the kidnapper.
"Not one e-mail, not one text message, not one cell phone record — there is nothing that supports (authorities') contention that it's a faked kidnapping," said lawyer Mark Miller on NBC's "Today" show. About the audiotape, he said that it is "an audio recording of a woman who has been kidnapped, abducted and being raped."
Interestingly, Gray's husband — the owner of a home health care company who detailed the couple's long, painful history of marital infidelity during hours of police interviews — is standing by his wife.
Against the advice of friends and family, he is not seeking a divorce.
"I love my family," Reid Gray wrote in a statement to the media. "And will do whatever I can to make sure that Quinn receives all of the help and support that she needs."