A teen in North Florida could face charges after admitting she made up a burglary story that had four surrounding law enforcement agencies on a manhunt.
The 19-year-old, who lives on the Bradford-Clay County line of State Road 16, called police on Jan. 30 about a burglary taking place in her home, claiming the burglar stabbed her in the leg, said Bradford County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Brad Smith.
“The evidence didn’t match up right from the beginning but we continued to work the case as if it was a legitimate burglary and intruder confrontation,” Smith said. “The further we got in the case, the evidence continued to point towards the fact that it was a fabricated story.”
Deputies from both counties began searching for a white male wearing a black ski mask, black long sleeve shirt and dark colored long pants. Bloodhound tracking teams from Union Correctional Institute and a helicopter from the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office were also searching, according to a Bradford County Sheriff’s Office press release.
Searches like this can cost several thousands of dollars, Smith said.
Sgt. Kevin Mueller, a Bradford County investigative detective, realized the information reported by the victim and her roommate didn’t match the evidence, so he interviewed the roommates again, according to the release.
During questioning, the teen told Mueller she made up the tale to cover for her roommate who had accidentally stabbed her in the leg, according to the release.
“It’s a rare occurrence, but it’s very discouraging for a law enforcement officer,” Smith said.
The BCSO is talking to other agencies involved to see if the teenagers could face criminal charges.
“We want the public to understand we take things seriously, especially if it is dangerous like in this case,” Smith said.
Tatila Brock contributed to this story.