Police in Mobile County, Alabama, are looking for a teenager who they say faked his own kidnapping and death to avoid going to court.
Marco Perez, 19, was indicted in November for possession of a stolen firearm, according to court records.
Perez disappeared on New Year’s Eve from his home in Theodore, Alabama, his mother, Tiffany Perez told ABC News on Jan. 9.
The family reported him missing but began receiving text messages from his cellphone claiming that he was dead, his mother said.
"Marco won't be able to make it. He won't be able to make it to anything ever again in his life," read one message, Tiffany Perez said.
But the Mobile Police Department has accused Perez of texting his parents to try to "fake his kidnapping and death."
Court records show Perez was due to appear in court on Jan. 8 for a pretrial hearing. At around 1 a.m. that morning, police were dispatched to a Theodore neighborhood "in reference to the missing person's mother stating that she believed her son had been kidnapped," the Mobile Police Department told ABC News in a statement.
"Further investigation revealed that Marco Perez, 19, texted his parents, attempting to fake his kidnapping and death, and that Perez wanted to avoid going to federal prison, as he is going to trial on federal gun charges," the Mobile Police Department said in the statement. "Police attempted to locate Perez. However, he ran from police. Perez has an active federal probation violation warrant. The latest in the investigation, at this time, is that police are still looking for Perez."
But Tiffany Perez, the teen's mother, said she is outraged that the Mobile Police Department believes Marco was never in danger. She said that her son wouldn’t fake his own death.
“He goes to every court date. I know because I’m the one who takes him,” Perez said. “Everybody’s a human being whether they've been in trouble or not.”
Fred Tiemann, a public defender assigned to for Perez, didn't respond to ABC News' requests for comment.