Posts Tagged ‘hoax’

A false report was given to authorities by two boys in Florida resulting in an AMBER Alert being activated for an unknown girl. It has yet to be determined if the parties involved will be charged.

Amber Alert for Missing Florida Girl Based on False Report

An Amber Alert issued for a missing girl in Port St. Lucie turned out to be a false report, Florida officials said Wednesday.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement spokesman Mike Morrison said the agency is in the process of canceling the alert.

WPEC said two boys are behind the hoax, telling police at about 7:25 a.m. Wednesday that they saw a 7-year-old girl snatched and put into a white van as she walked in a Port St. Lucie neighborhood.

Based on their story, authorities reported that the girl was last seen wearing a blue skirt with a pink or purple shirt. Her name was never released. The alert mentioned that she might be with two men possibly driving in a white van.

Police launched a massive air and ground search for the vehicle and the girl and went to the homes of about 105 sex offenders in the area, WPEC reported.

It wasn’t known whether the boys would be charged.


Read Full Post »

An AMBER Alert has been activated in Southampton Township, PA for abducted Julia Rakoczy. The following information from the NCMEC’s AMBER Alert concerning the events appears to differ from news reports of the abduction.

The child was abducted at approximately 2:00 pm May 26th, 2009, along State Route 132, Street Road, Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County, about 1 mile north of Philadelphia City. Two Black males, no further description, jumped in her mother’s vehicle and drove away. Her mother, Bonnie Sweeten, was in the vehicle also. Anyone with information about the abduction should immediately contact the police by calling 911.

Vehicle Information
Make: GMC
Model: Denali
Color: Silver Interior
License State: PA
License Text: GYK8998

Mom abducted, daughter missing



The woman who made a 9-1-1 call yesterday was stricken with fear.

In a terrified voice, police said, 38-year-old Bonnie Ann Sweeten told how she had been grabbed by two men after a minor accident in lower Bucks County, shortly before 2 p.m., shoved into the back of a Cadillac and driven away.

She said that her 9-year-old daughter, Julia Rakoczy, had been with her but remained in her vehicle, a GMC SUV. It was not at the scene when cops arrived.

Update: Cars found in mother-daughter abduction case

Police have found the SUV of a woman who called 911 saying she was in the trunk of a car and that she and her 9-year-old daughter had been abducted following an accident yesterday in Bucks County.

They also have found a black Cadillac that could be the car from which Bonnie Sweeten made her desperate phone call.

But Sweeten and her daughter Julia Rakoczy remain missing.

Update: The Associated Press has corrected the story to include the mother and daughter. The NCMEC now lists the suspect vehicle as a black Cadillac.

Pa. mom, daughter are rear-ended, report abduction

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Police are searching for a woman and her young daughter, who were allegedly abducted in broad daylight by men who rear-ended their car near Philadelphia.

Police and the FBI say Bonnie Sweeten, of Feasterville, made a cell phone call Tuesday from a car trunk. She told a 911 dispatcher she and 9-year-old Julia Rakoczy (ruh-KOH’-zee) were abducted after the car struck her SUV.

State of Pennsylvania AMBER Alert site with photos of Julia RAKOCZY and Bonnie SWEETEN

The Pennsylvania State Police has re-issued an Amber Child Abduction Alert for the Upper Southampton Township Police, Bucks County.
Upper Southampton Township Police are searching for Julia RAKOCZY, a white, non-hispanic female, 8 years old, 4’1” tall, 59 pounds, long brown hair, blue eyes, dime-sized birthmark on her forehead, unknown clothing. She was abducted at approximately 2:00 pm May 26th, 2009 along State Route 132, Street Road, Upper Southampton Township, Bucks County, about 1 mile north of Philadelphia City. Two black males, no further description, forced her and her mother, Bonnie SWEETEN, a white, non-hispanic female, 38 years old, 5’11” tall, 130 pounds, blonde hair, blue eyes, into the trunk of a 1990’s black color Cadillac sedan. SWEETEN’s vehicle, a GMC Denali SUV, was found in the 1500 block of Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, at approximately 1:30 am on May 27th, 2009, but mother and child are still missing.
Anyone with information about the abduction should immediately contact the police by calling 911.

Update 05-28-09: Abduction hoax ends at Disney World; girl safe 

The frantic search for Bonnie Sweeten and her 9-year-old daughter – which began after she called 911 Tuesday to report that they had been kidnapped in Bucks County – ended yesterday at Walt Disney World.

Sweeten, 38, and daughter Julia Rakoczy were taken into custody at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa about 8:40 p.m., the FBI said. Sweeten was being held by authorities in Orange County, Fla., and her daughter was safe.

Sweeten will be extradited to Bucks County, where she faces charges of making a false report and identity theft, both misdemeanors. The investigation is continuing into possible theft charges, said Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry.


In August of 2007, the NCMEC and TSA announced a program to alert airport screeners if a child was the subject of an Amber Alert. It was trumpeted to be a major advancement in the search for missing children. (see related post:  Leaving on a jet plane)

Did Bonnie Sweeten steal from The Carlitz Foundation, whose goal is raising money for autism research and for people in Burma, as this Philadelphia Daily News article suggests? Did any of the alleged funds from the charity established by Debbie Carlitz, finance Bonnie’s trip to Orlando?

Until last year, Sweeten had worked for the Feasterville law office of Debbie Carlitz.

Carlitz, whose law license was suspended last year, also operated a New Hope-based charity called The Carlitz Foundation. The charity’s stated goal is raising money for autism research and for people in Burma.

Sweeten was listed as a director and fundraiser for the charity. In an interview last night with the Philadelphia Daily News, Carlitz labled her longtime – and now former – employee a thief.

“She worked with me for 15 years and stole money from my law practice,” Carlitz told the newspaper. “She used a (bank) account from the foundation to launder money from the law practice.”

Update 08-28-09: Mom In Disney World Kidnap Hoax Gets Nine to 23 Months

Read Full Post »

Police in Escondido, Ca. are investigating a reported missing child. Although she remains missing since last Friday, there were sightings of her over the weekend near Palomar Medical Center. She isn’t  is now listed at the NCMEC  (Case Type: Endangered Runaway Endangered Missing)  but not California based Beyond Missing.


The family has set up a website to help in search efforts amberleeannedubois.com and bringamberhome.com

ESCONDIDO: Police are looking for a missing 14-year-old Escondido girl.

Amber LeeAnne Dubois was reported missing Friday evening. Relatives said they had last seen her walking to Escondido High School about 7:10 a.m. Friday, police said.

Her family said the disappearance was “completely out of character,” police said.

Amber is described as 5 feet 3 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Police were checking into a possible sighting of her at 6 p.m. Saturday, walking with two other teens near Palomar Medical Center in Escondido.

Anyone with information is asked to call Escondido police at (760) 839-4722

Update 02-26-09: There has been little national coverage of missing Amber. She was the topic of discussion last night on the Nancy Grace show concerning this theory about her disappearance.

PHIL FARRAR, NEWS ANCHOR, REPORTER, KOGO RADIO, COVERING STORY: Well, the latest is right now Bill Garcia is out searching, the private investigator, back out searching once again. I talked with him this morning. He has told me of a couple of new developments.

One of the developments was they found four kids who were taking some of the flyers off of poles and these parents saw that they put these flyers back up and once again, these kids took these particular flyers back down so they`ve been kind of looking at these particular kids as well.

Once again, Friday the 13th. That unlucky day, the significance of that. Did that play a role as well? Garcia also told me that he would be searching particular areas today near Lake Wolford which is due east of Escondido. There was a report of two men on Friday the 13th that late evening who had a plastic bag and they dumped something near the lake.

Update 03-14-09: Police have a search warrant for Amber’s Yahoo account. Her status as Endangered Missing hasn’t change and hopefully her account may provide them with new clues.

EXCLUSIVE: New details surface in Amber Dubois case
Missing Escondido teen’s Web activity focus of search warrants

ESCONDIDO —- Friends of missing Escondido teenager Amber Dubois told police last month that the girl had been chatting with boys online, a situation that drew concern from one of her friends, according to court records obtained Friday.

And a forensic probe of the computer used by Amber and her family revealed a bump in Internet activity in the week before the teen’s disappearance, according to an affidavit Escondido police filed last week to get a warrant to look at the computer communications of Amber, who went by the screen name “wolfintheend.”

View warrant

Update 03-24-09: Continuing Hope For Amber Dubois

Eleven San Diego County Applebee’s restaurants will hold a benefit night for missing teen Amber Dubois.

The benefit night will be held on Tuesday, March 24 from 5p.m. to 9p.m.

The Escondido teen’s family said fifteen percent of your check will go the the Amber Leeanne Dubois Trust. This fund supports all efforts to find the missing teen.

Update 03-31-09: While authorities continue in their efforts to find Amber, two boys fabricated their own abduction story.  Confirmed Hoax: Abduction Report by Two Escondido School Boys

Update 04-02-09:  ESCONDIDO: Concert Saturday to support Amber Dubois search

ESCONDIDO —- A concert benefitting the search effort for missing Escondido teen Amber Dubois is planned for Saturday at Kit Carson Park, according to a news release issued by Amber’s family Wednesday.
Admission will be free, though donations will be accepted and concertgoers can buy tickets for a chance to win raffles held between performances, the release said. Eight bands are scheduled to perform between noon and 7 p.m. Gates open at 11 a.m.

The family is also looking for volunteers to help search for the missing 14-year-old on Sunday. Volunteers are asked to meet at 755 N. Quince St. in Escondido starting at 8 a.m. and no later than noon.

Update 04-15-09:   ESCONDIDO: Family, police continue search for missing teen Amber Dubois

There have been no significant developments in the case for weeks, causing added despair for the family and frustrating police.

“This has been a very frustrating and perplexing case for our investigators,” Escondido police Lt. Bob Benton said. “To have a 14-year-old girl missing is a huge concern for all of us involved … (Through the investigation) we all know Amber, obviously not as well as the family. She is very dear to us. We’ll do anything to find her.”

Update 04-23-09: Police Work On Possible New Lead In Missing Teen Case

ESCONDIDO, Calif. — The Escondido Police Department announced Thursday that a vehicle caught on surveillance video may possibly provide additional clues to the disappearance of a 14-year-old Amber Dubois.

Amber was last seen on Feb. 13 walking to Escondido High School, according to police.

Police told 10News that surveillance footage taken of a red pickup truck may provide new leads in the case, but stressed that the vehicle is not directly related to the girl’s disappearance

Update 05-14-09: Escondido police to invite FBI to review Dubois case

ESCONDIDO – Escondido police plan to ask the FBI to review the case of missing 14-year-old Amber Dubois over the next few weeks as the investigation enters its fourth month, a spokesman said.

After meeting with the Amber’s parents Wednesday morning, police decided to invite the FBI and the nonprofit National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to review about 15 binders of documents, Lt. Craig Carter said.
“It makes sense, we have no issue with that,” Carter said. “We will reach out to both those agencies.”

Read Full Post »

ATLANTAPolice searched Tuesday for a child reportedly abducted from the West Lake MARTA station.

 Searchers are using tracking dogs and officers on horseback to help find the missing girl, believed to be 5-7 years old.

 A man matching the description of a possible suspect was taken into custody, but the girl was still missing.

Missing Girl Report Was Hoax

Read Full Post »

Earlier this week Police in Savannah, Georgia issued a Levi Alert for a missing 14-year-old. It turns out it was allegedly a hoax.

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) – Garden City police detectives issued an abduction alert for a 14-year-old Michelle Smith, but 24 hours later said the report was a hoax. Capt. Al Jelinski with Garden City police said Sunday a 12-year-old told police that she and Smith were taken by three males on 3rd Street in Garden City.  According to the 12-year-old, the men sexually assaulted both of them. She went on to tell police that she managed to get away, but that they still had Smith.

What isn’t a hoax is Michelle Smith  is missing. She is listed at the NCMEC as Case Type: Endangered Runaway

In the U.K, police are looking for missing 9-year-old, Shannon Matthews who some believe may have run away. She isn’t is listed at the ICMEC and PACT for missing kids.

Shannon Matthews disappeared after she decided to walk home from school on her own on Tuesday afternoon.More than 200 police from across the West Yorkshire area were last night searching for the little girl, as mountain rescue teams combed nearby moors.


The Telegraph is reporting this possible theory.

Kieron Dolan, 11, a friend of Shannon’s brother Tony, said he saw her on Tuesday evening at the rear of the school near a track leading to the housing estate. Police spoke to him as part of the search. 

His mother Tracy Dolan, 31, said officers had told her in conversation that Shannon’s brother Tony had been promised a computer to stop him running away. One theory was that Shannon may have run away so that she too would be given a computer.

Update 02-21-08 Michelle’s information has been removed from the NCMEC indicating she was probably recovered.

In the U.K. Hundreds join missing girl search

About 200 people are helping police as the search for a missing nine-year-old girl enters its third night.

Similar to the disappearance of Madeleine McCann it appears the British Press is printing multiple theories concerning missing Shannon.
Missing Shannon Matthews “wanted to live with dad”
Times Online, UK –
The father of nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, missing in West Yorkshire since Tuesday, said this morning that his daughter had spoken of wanting to come and

Did Shannon Matthews run away after theft accusation?
Mirror.co.uk, UK –
By Will Payne And Brian Roberts22/02/2008 Missing Shannon Matthews may have run away after being wrongly accused of stealing from her mum’s purse.

Update 02-23-08  

 LONDON (Reuters) – Police have carried out underwater searches in the hunt for missing nine-year-old Shannon Matthews, West Yorkshire Police said on Saturday.

Update 03-15-08: TimesOnline

Shannon Matthews found hiding under bed with her stepfather’s uncle. After disappearing 24 days ago, Shannon Matthews was found in the base of a bed in the home of Paul Drake

Related Posts:

Amber Alerts and false reports

Headed to the House

Read Full Post »

Madeleine McCann Mystery: Is Madeleine McCann Disappearance A Hoax?

Post Chronicle –
By Brian Shale Madeleine McCann Disappearance – Could the abduction of Madeleine McCann be an elaborate hoax perpetrated by her parents Gerry and Kate

Madeleine McCann Hoax Theory Sparks Outrage

Post Chronicle –
By Jim Brogan Madeleine McCann Mystery – Yesterday the Post Chronicle published an opinion piece by Brian Shale uncovering speculation about the abduction

On a weekend when there was plenty of news in the United Kingdom concerning alleged terrorist activity this “news” about Madeleine McCann was interesting, but not for the glaring headlines. It was because traditionally a legitimate news story is followed by comments and opinions. In this instance it starts with a commentary citing various blog theories concerning a possible hoax and then is followed the next day by a news story as if it was some form of breaking news.

Admittedly, my site is not a news agency or media outlet but simply a personal blog about missing children and some of the issues surrounding them. It is linked to some crime blogs often cited by mainstream media for the insight they provide such as Crimeblog.Us, True Crime Blog UK or any of the “True  Crime Blogs” listed in the sidebar to the right, who actually in some cases do break news or advance a criminal investigation.

It’s quite another matter when a news source seems to “manufacture” the news, by posting a surefire controversial comment backed by other opinions, and then proceeds to report on it as if it were truly headline making.

Note:   The conspiracy theories continue. Some British papers are suggesting the friends of Gerry and Kate McCann had met with Robert Murat prior to her disappearance in some clandestine form of coverup.Why haven’t they attacked the Bryan Adam’s song (Everything I do) I do it for you, at the Bring Madeleine Home site. Is the song from Madeleines point of view or her parents?

Is it possible for them to just report actual facts and concede enough is enough?

Update 08-07-08   A Reuters news story is reporting the Diario de Noticias daily has cited sources close to the investigation as saying Madeleine may have been murdered. It is important to note the results are not back from blood being analyzed from the apartment she was believed to have been abducted from on May 3rd.

Not only will recent reports spur more possible theories about her disappearance, U.S. media outlets are now re-interested in providing the details as they are released.

“Portuguese police have known for a month that Madeleine McCann was killed that night (May 3) at the apartment in the Praia da Luz resort, having definitely rejected the chance that she may have been kidnapped,” the newspaper said.

The  Times Online

A paedophile who was on holiday in the Algarve at the time that Madeleine McCann was taken from her bed has been found dead after abducting a 5-year-old girl.

Urs Hans Von Aesch killed himself in a Swiss forest close to the belongings of Ylenia Lenhard, who is still missing a week after she disappeared

Update 08-12-07 Quoting what some might descibed as the equivalent of a U.S. tabloid, the TimesOnline reported this story but didn’t provide a link to the article.

As a result the Portuguese press have speculated wildly. Yesterday Sol, a weekly newspaper, claimed the McCanns’ Renault Scénic may have been used to transport Madeleine’s body after she died in the apartment.

A spokesman for the couple pointed out that the car was rented five weeks after Madeleine disappeared and has already been searched by police.

Read some interesting comments from the BBC blog “Reporting Madeleine Rumours“.

Note: In this TimesOnline article, would it be helpful to understand what an Amber Alert is, the U.S. criteria by State for issuing one and how they are actually broadcast before condemning them as a PR exercise? There are abuses and false alarms but when properly executed they have proven to save children. You can be assured the streets of America are not lined with parents wanting their children photographed nor fingerprinted.

US officials claim loudly that 800,000 kids go missing a year. In fact almost all are runaways or result from custody disputes. Yet the official Amber Alert mentality has impressed mistrust of strangers upon the public psyche, as parents queue to have police photograph and fingerprint their children in readiness for when they, too, are abducted.

Update 08-15-07  Is this a breaking headline or an effort to drive traffic to a site or sell newspapers? If the blood hasn’t even been identified as hers, is it responsible to attempt to persuade anyone to jump to conclusions? Why would it take almost 100 days for Investigators to have dogs attempt to find a scent?

Madeleine sniffer dogs detect scent of body
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom – 1 hour ago
By Richard Edwards in Praia da Luz A British sniffer dog detected the scent of a body inside the apartment of Madeleine McCann, Portuguese police said today

Telegraph 8-15-07

Update 08-16-07  According to SKY News the blood analysis results are still unknown.

The results of tests on blood traces found in the apartment from which Madeleine McCann disappeared are not yet known, contrary to some newspaper reports.

However the Times Online states differently

The Times revealed today that Portuguese detectives have been told that traces of blood found in the bedroom where Madeleine was abducted are not from her. A Portuguese police source confirmed today: “We have been told that the blood was from a man.”

Update 08-19-07  TimesOnline 

The Times revealed on Thursday that the preliminary notes from the headquarters of the Forensic Science Service in Birmingham showed that traces of blood in the apartment had come from a man.

However, the findings received by the Laboratório de Polícia Científica in Lisbon on Wednesday indicated that the blood samples were too damaged to be checked against the DNA database of British sex offenders. Scientists have been attempting to recover a better profile.

Update 08-20-07  If these reports are true, were the McCann’s aware of the break ins  prior to leaving the kids unattended?

Update 08-21-07 

What role if any did Robert Murat have in her disappearance? In this article, “MADDIE COPS TOTALLY CLUELESS” it could make you wonder.

…Robert Murat’s home was raided by police who seized his computers.
When they found names and four-digit numbers on a spreadsheet they were convinced they had unearthed “encrypted codes for a paedophile ring.”

But the list was simply a family tree giving the names and birth dates of the estate agent’s relatives…


Update 08-21-07  On his blog Gerry McCann made this reference to LUSA. Ironically, there is no other mention on the site of them in all the news articles. If they are an official source, why not refer to them to avoid all the rumors and innuendos printed these past few months?

… We were also asked about what is being written about the investigation and pointed out how much of this is pure speculation. We directed them to the official Portuguese police statements that are very sober in comparison. A statement was released this evening through the Portuguese news agency LUSA. This is the translation of what was reported on Portuguese TV station SIC:The news that points to the existence of an English suspect, close to the couple, connected to the disappearance of Madeleine on the 3rd May in the Algarve, “does not come” from the PJ and has no “logic whatsoever”, according to what the inspector Olegário Sousa told Lusa…

Update 08-22-07  Interesting request from June 3rd on Gerry’s blog for Day 111.

Kate is keen to get in touch with a very nice mum, who she spoke with at the toddler pool in the Ocean Club on Sunday 3rd June. She is sure you will remember the conversation and Kate would be grateful if you could get in touch at with her at campaign@findmadeleine.com

Update 08-24-07:  The Scotsman offers this list of 12 theories of what may have happened to Madeleine (with explanations)


Update 09-01-07  On his blog Gerry McCann briefly discusses why they are suing the Portuguese paper.

Day 120 – 31/08/2007

Those of who you that read the blog regularly know how difficult it has been for us not to respond to many of the slurs against our behaviour leading up to Madeleines disappearance. We have consistently stated that we will not put new information into the public domain that might jeopardise the investigation and in fact, we are constrained by Portuguese Law as witnesses from doing so. There has been some wild speculation reported in the press about what may have happened to Madeleine. Most of the innuendo regarding Kate and me has died down in light of the statements from the official Portuguese Police spokesperson. However last Friday, a Portuguese newspaper published a front-page headline ‘PJ believes that the parents killed Maddie’. We firmly believe that the report was speculative, defamatory and published despite official statements to the contrary.

As well as damaging our personal and professional reputations, such allegations smear the investigation, the campaign to find Madeleine and cause great offence and anxiety to all our family. This is why, after careful consideration, we have issued a writ against the newspaper for defamation. Our focus has, and always will be, on doing our best to help find Madeleine. This lurid allegation is so serious and wide of the mark that we feel it cannot go unchallenged.

The legal expenses for the proceedings will not be paid from Madeleines fund.

Update: 09-07-07 Kate McCann is expected to be named a suspect in Madeleine’s disappearance. It is possible Gerry could be named as well later today. Initial reports indicate it does not mean Portuguese Police are any closer to solving the case.

The status of suspect or arguido/arguida confers certain legal protections under Portuguese law, including the right to remain silent in interviews and to have a lawyer present. It is not uncommon for people caught up in criminal investigations in Portugal to declare themselves arguidos in order to receive this protection.

Fox News Channel is reporting this from Sky News. She has allegedly turned down the offer.

Missing Madeleine McCann’s mother Kate, named as an official suspect in the police investigation into the disappearance of the four-year-old, was offered a deal if she confessed to accidentally killing her, family members have said.Gerry McCann’s sister Philomena told Sky News that Kate McCann was told she would serve two years or less if she confessed.

Update 09-07-07  Fox News Channel is reporting both parents have officially been named suspects.

Any further updates will be posted at Conspiracy theories II

Related Posts:  Dr. Joshua Perper and missing Madeleine

Read Full Post »