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Girl’s claim of kidnapping was a lie

POSTED January 22, 2010 11:24 p.m.
A Turlock girl’s story of being abducted by several men and fighting them off to win escape turned out to be a fabrication.
On Thursday, while meeting with the lead investigator, the 13-year-old Dutcher student “broke down and admitted that she had fabricated the story,” Turlock Police Sgt. Nino Amirfar said.
The initial information released on Wednesday was that the 13-year-old was forced into a black van by a Hispanic male while she was walking to school. She said she fought off the first attacker, as well as a white man in the cargo area and that she was able to run to safety. She also claimed there were two other men in the cab of the van.
The story was first told to one of the girl’s friends, who believed it to be true and told a school official.
The girl’s story was similar in detail to an attempted abduction in Modesto on Jan. 5. Turlock Police Capt. Michael Langston said the girl had no prior knowledge of that incident and that the similarities were merely a coincidence.
In response to her tale, the Turlock Unified School District issued an alert to parents, patrol around her route her increased, and investigators were searching for the van and suspects she had described.
“The severity of her claim had everyone up to the chief involved on this case,” Langston said.
Some inconsistencies in her story were already starting to show themselves on Wednesday, but investigators wanted to err on the side of caution.
“The last thing we would do is question the credibility of a victim of violent crime,” Langston said.
When approached by the lead investigator the following day, more cracks in her story started to appear, Langston said. Eventually the girl admitted to making the whole story up after she was pressured by a peer.
“It’s an unfortunate situation,” Langston said. “We suspect she didn’t realize it would go as far as it did.”
Langston said the police department would not pursue any legal action against the girl.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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