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.

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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

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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.”

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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

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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

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