(BOUNTIFUL, Utah) — Police in Utah are now unraveling what they say was a hoax by two teenage girls who claimed they were kidnapped off the street.
For the past month, police in Bountiful, Utah, have searched for three suspects believed to have forced two girls, ages 16 and 17, into an SUV at knife point last month in the middle of the night.
The girls called 911 and told authorities they were held captive for 19 hours before finally breaking free the night of Sept. 9.
“They even went so far as to inflict injuries on each other to make it appear that they had been physically abused,” Bountiful City Police Lt. Dave Edwards told ABC News.
The break in the case came not when police found a suspect, but when they found surveillance video showing the two girls sitting and having lunch on the day they were reported taken.
“The video in the convenience store shows the girls walk into a convenience store and take a seat at the table,” Lt. Edwards said. “They proceeded to reach into their bags and take out some food and eat something and then walk out.”
“It’s very obvious that they are not under duress [and] that there are no problems,” he added.
When confronted with the video evidence, the pair admitted to faking their own abduction, police said.
Both girls are now facing charges of filing a false police report, according to authorities, who noted the effect the abduction story had on the community.
“We were constantly being contacted and asked if there were any progress in locating these people, contacted on the streets about this case, if there was any progress,” Edwards said. “This weighed heavily on the minds of the citizens in these communities.
“I don’t think these girls were aware of the impact they were having on not only the resources of law enforcement across this 100-mile stretch of Utah but upon the community that were hiding and watching their children,” he said.
One of the girls’ mothers told ABC News that both girls are sorry for what they did. Neither has said why they faked the abduction.
“Neither of them would elaborate and give us a reason why they made this story up,” Edwards said.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
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