Girl, 12, Who Claimed She was Kidnapped Actually Made the Whole Thing Up: Cops
A major police investigation in Florida was quickly opened and just as soon closed on Tuesday after cops say a pre-teen girl admitted a story she'd told about being kidnapped was totally false.
The investigation was opened when a 12-year-old girl from the town of Paxton in the state's panhandle reportedly told authorities she was dragged from inside her home and forced into the back of a pick-up truck.
Walton County Sheriff's Office investigators initially believed the unnamed girl, who they say described her kidnapper as having "shaggy hair."
The girl said she was able to escape when the kidnapper's truck slowed down.
A search was launched based on the girl's description, reported NBC News. Sheriff Michael Adkinson said in a release the department was "bringing in all available resources."
"There is nothing more important right now than catching these suspects. We are very proud of the courage shown by this strong young lady today," the sheriff said.
Only there were no suspects, it turns out.
An update issued by the sheriff's office late Tuesday confirmed the hoax.
"Although she sought help from someone miles from her home it was later discovered she was not forced into a pick-up truck by two men and taken from her residence," read the update.
The sheriff's office said that at the time she contacted them they believed the girl was a "credible witness" and that her account was what they had to go on.
"Our primary concern is the health, welfare, and safety of our children. Hopefully now the people of Walton County will be able sleep easy," the office said.