Phoenix Police: Baby kidnapping 'fabricated' for faster police response; suspects identified
PHOENIX - Phoenix Police officials announced on the night of May 12 that there was no child who was inside a truck that was allegedly stolen earlier in the day, despite previous reports.
The incident began, according to earlier reports by investigations, along Indian School Road west of Central Avenue.
Initially, Sgt. Mercedes Fortune with Phoenix Police said the caregivers of the "child," along with a couple, went into a convenience store in the area, and at some point, the couple went back to the truck, and drove the vehicle away, with the "child" inside.
Police were called after the vehicle was stolen. A description of the "child" was also made to investigators, which included the clothing the "child" was wearing at the time. At one point, an AMBER Alert was ready to be issued for the "child."
"The resources which were used during this investigation worked tirelessly to find the alleged kidnapped baby. A police helicopter was also utilized during the search," read a portion of a statement released by police on the night of May 12.
In addition to the helicopter, some 5 officers were reportedly involved in the search for the "child." In addition, the city's 911 call center was flooded with calls from concerned citizens.
Officers later found the allegedly stolen truck near 19th Avenue and Orangewood, but no child was inside.
"They looked in the car, there was no car seat," said Sgt. Fortune. "There was no other evidence of a baby, so that’s when they start to say OK, let’s slow things down. Let’s figure something out."
By 7:00 p.m. on May 12, the couple came clean.
"Detectives have learned that the ‘caregiving couple' fabricated the story of the kidnapping. The couple wanted quicker police response to get their vehicle back from the suspects who took their truck without their permission," read a portion of the statement released on May 12.
Police identified the "caregivers" on Thursday morning as 40-year-old Stormee Wagner and 37-year-old James E. Wagner.
The other two suspects were not booked into jail, but police officials said on May 13 the other two suspects are likely to be accused of stealing the truck.
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