Father of Amber Alert child surrenders after calling WRAL News

The father of a 4-year-old girl, subject of an Amber Alert, called WRAL News when he was en route to surrender to police.

WRAL’s Lena Tillett spent more than an hour on the phone with Mitchell Grayson as he drove his daughter Paisley to the Durham Police Department headquarters. When they arrived, about five hours after the Amber Alert was issued, Paisley was safe and healthy.

“You can’t kidnap your own kid,” Grayson told WRAL. “It looks bad, but I’m just doing what I can.”

Durham police issued an Amber Alert for Paisley on Monday afternoon, alleging that her father broke into a home on the 800 block of Angier Avenue in Durham on Saturday, severely beat a family member of the child and then left with her.

He claims he took the child because he was worried for her safety.

“They had her locked in an apartment for like three days,” he said.

Grayson was charged with aggravated assault, breaking and entering and injury to personal property.

He didn’t deny that an altercation took place. He said he was given access to the building by Paisley’s 75-year-old grandmother. He says a cousin of Paisley’s mother attempted to get him to leave and put his hands on him. Grayson responded.

Police said the 4-year-old was abducted by her father, 37-year-old Mitchell Grayson. Mitchell provided the photo of Paisley after calling WRAL News
Police said the 4-year-old was abducted by her father, 37-year-old Mitchell Grayson. Mitchell provided the photo of Paisley after calling WRAL News

During his phone call, Grayson could be heard telling Paisley he had to drop her off at the police station and that she would be reunited with her mother, at which point she started crying.

“I don’t have any other options,” Grayson told Tillett on the phone.

Grayson talked to Tillett and to Paisley during the course of his drive. He said he had taken the child “home” to the mountains, near Wilkesboro, where they tie-dyed some shirts and played in the park over the weekend.

When Tillett said, “I think a lot of people are worried about Paisley and they just want to make sure she’s okay,” Grayson responded, “That’s why I went and got her, because I was worried about her.”

The child was audible on the call; Grayson texted photos of her in the back seat, watching videos on her tablet.

A call to Durham police confirmed that Grayson had been in contact with them prior to his call to WRAL News.

Authorities said Grayson took the child in a gray 2000 Chevrolet Astro van with NC plate HFS-7433. The pair arrived in Durham in a different vehicle, a white hatchback.

Grayson will be transported to the Durham County jail after investigators interview him.

Police are asking anyone with additional information on the case to contact Investigator T.S. Stuart at 919-560-4440 ext. 29340.

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