A man bound with rope and tape found lying 30 feet from a burning Jeep at 8 p.m. Tuesday in a field near Viejas Grade Road in Alpine has confessed to a hoax, Sgt. Conrad Grayson of the Sheriff's Department said.
Lee Rogers Berger, 21, of Georgia, told investigators called to the scene that he had been kidnaped from his home state and an attempt had been made on his life when his vehicle was set on fire.
After being admitted to the burn unit at UC San Diego Medical Center, Grayson told FBI agents that he fabricated the whole affair. He remains in guarded condition with minor respiratory problems, Grayson said.
Arson investigators said they will seek to charge Berger with filing a false felony report and arson on his mother's vehicle.