California police suspect man faked his own kidnapping to extort mother

Robert Nunez/Photo: Santa Ana Police Department

SANTA ANA, Calif. -— California police say they’ve arrested a man they suspect of faking his own kidnapping to extort $300 from his mother.

The Orange County Register reports police arrested 31-year-old Robert Nunez on Tuesday.

Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna says his mother called 911 Sunday after she received a text message saying Nunez was dead.

The mother later received more text messages asking for a ransom in exchange for her son’s safe return.

Police say they found Nunez in Anaheim.

He reportedly struggled with drug issues and his mother took him in when he was homeless.

After questioning him, Bertagna says investigators determined that Nunez had sent the text messages to his mother.

He was arrested on suspicion of attempted extortion.

Bertagna says this is the department’s third fake hostage situation case in Santa Ana this month.

Nunez is scheduled to appear in court April 19.