Reported kidnapping of 2 was hoax

May 03, 1994|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

A 24-year-old Severna Park man who claimed that he and his 3-year-old cousin were abducted from Lake Waterford Park Sunday afternoon was charged yesterday with kidnapping the boy, after he admitted that no abduction had taken place, county police said.

Scott Alan Smallwood of the 700 block of Trenton Ave. was charged with kidnapping Michael Cody Burris, who lives in Severna Park with his parents, Joel Burris, 37, and Dianne Bradford, 30, police said. Michael had been reported missing Sunday night.

Mr. Smallwood turned up with the boy, who was unharmed, shortly before 10 a.m. yesterday at the Brooklyn Park fire station, said Officer Randy Bell, police spokesman. Michael was returned to his parents by county police officers, Officer Bell said.

Mr. Smallwood is Ms. Bradford's nephew. She left Michael in Mr. Smallwood's care about noon Sunday while she kept an appointment, police said. Mr. Smallwood told Ms. Bradford that he was taking Michael to play in Lake Waterford Park and that he would return in about an hour. He left in Ms. Bradford's 1993 Ford Explorer.

Mr. Burris said he and his wife became concerned about 4 p.m. when Mr. Smallwood hadn't returned to their house on Manor Road.

"We went out and searched the neighborhood, but couldn't find them," Mr. Burris said. "We said we'd wait a little bit longer because [Michael] was with a relative. We went to the police station at about 7:30 [p.m.] and were there until about 1 or 1:30 [a.m.]"

At first, Mr. Smallwood told Northern District detectives that he and the boy had been abducted in the park by two men who drove them around Baltimore, then released them yesterday, just before he went to the fire station.

But detectives skeptical of that story continued to question Mr. Smallwood, Officer Bell said. By early afternoon, Mr. Smallwood had changed his story and told police there had been no abduction, Officer Bell said.

Instead, Mr. Smallwood said he had gone to a house in the Brooklyn section of Baltimore to get drugs, police said. When he got there, two men asked him for a ride to Edmondson Avenue.

Mr. Smallwood told detectives that he refused, explaining to the men that he had the child with him. The men took the car keys without his knowledge, Mr. Smallwood told detectives, and stole the vehicle.

Mr. Smallwood stayed at the house and waited for the men to return with the car, police said. He told police that he walked to the Brooklyn Park fire station with Michael yesterday morning when the men still had not returned with the car.

Ms. Bradford's car, a cranberry 1993 Ford Explorer with Maryland tags 579664M, was still missing yesterday afternoon,

police said.

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