Allegations of kidnapping plot in Cleveland unravel when ‘victim’ is charged, police say

Kayla McDermott

A woman who made accusations of an alleged kidnapping is now facing charges for reportedly filing a false report with police. The alleged kidnapping plot was reported to police on Sunday, August 8, 2021, at 5:01 p.m. Cleveland Police Department was the responding agency.

According to Capt. Scott Felts, a spokesperson for Cleveland Police Department, Kayla McDermott, 18, of Conroe, advised her boyfriend via text message that an unknown man had kidnapped her.  Concerned for her welfare, the boyfriend tapped into the location of his girlfriend’s phone through GPS, then called law enforcement agencies to report the kidnapping as the vehicle traveled into various jurisdictions.

Cleveland Police Officer Rosas observed the vehicle traveling in the southbound lane of US 59.  Officer Rosas conducted a traffic stop and began his investigation.

McDermott, who was driving a 2016 silver Toyota Camry, and a passenger, Otis Claybrook III, 51, of San Antonio, were detained and questioned. McDermott reportedly told officers she was kidnapped by an unknown male who was taking her to an unknown location.

“McDermott said the male advised her he would cut her with a machete if she did not cooperate,” Felts said.

Officers located a machete inside of the vehicle and a knife that was positioned next to McDermott in the driver seat area.

Claybrook reportedly claimed he was contacted by McDermott, whom he knew, and was asked to take McDermott to her mother’s residence in The Woodlands. However, due to the conflicting statements, both were transported to the Cleveland Police Department for questioning.

Detective Shaver was contacted to conduct further interviews.  During the interviews, Claybrook produced evidence via his cell phone to support his version of events. Cell phone messages showed that McDermott and Claybrook knew each other.  Text messages and pictures were shared between the two, which disproved McDermott’s claim that she did not know Claybrook.  Further evidence was located to disprove the claim of kidnapping, said Felts.

“This is a case of crying wolf.  For whatever reason, this young lady text messaged her boyfriend and made up a kidnapping claim, which caused the boyfriend to contact law enforcement.  Credit can be given to the responding patrol officers and Detective Shaver for conducting a thorough investigation that led to the discovery of the truth in this case,” Felts said.

McDermott was charged with False Report to a Police Officer and is currently being held in the Cleveland Police Department Jail.


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