DAVENPORT, Fla. (WFLA) — The search for a man suspected of trying to lure an 11-year-old girl into a car ended Thursday after authorities said the girl had made the story up.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said that the girl will be charged with filing a false police report, which is a misdemeanor.
She originally told deputies that on Tuesday, she got off her bus at Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Ronald Reagan Parkway. She began walking eastbound on the sidewalk along Ronald Reagan Parkway toward her neighborhood and a car traveling westbound pulled up alongside her.
The girl told detectives that the man said, “Your mom is in the hospital and she sent us to get you.”
The sheriff’s office created a composite sketch of the suspect and the news story was shared widely on social media, with the hope of catching the man.
Judd said on the girl’s mother contacted the detective working the case on Thursday and asked him to come back to their house to talk to the girl again. This time, the girl told the detective that she made the incident up, because she was tired of walking home a mile from the bus stop to her house each day.
“While we are disappointed that this child lied to us, we are very happy that there isn’t someone riding around in Davenport trying to lure kids into his car. At the very least, we are dealing with a child who lied to us and wasted our resources, but the good news is, we didn’t have an actual kidnapping or worse,” said Sheriff Judd.
The 11-year-old girl wrote to Judd and the detectives. Here’s what she said:
“I’m sorry the story that I told wasn’t true. I don’t normally walk home, and on Tuesday, I was walking and I was scared. I never meant to hurt anyone or for this to get this big. I just want forgiveness – I’m truly sorry for making that false report.
P.S. I just want to say thank you because now I know that you’ll be there for me if something does happen.”
The girl’s parents said, “We love and support our daughter and will continue to help her through this, as she learns this valuable lesson. We will continue to cooperate with the sheriff’s office during this investigation. We are truly sorry.”
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