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Tainter teen could be asked to pay $1,000 for hoax

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — A Dunn County teenager could end up paying $1,000 for concocting a false story that she was abducted and left in a corn field with her hands tied.

According to a news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, at 6 a.m. on June 1, the sheriff’s department received a report from a man who said his 16-year-old stepdaughter had returned home with her hands tied in front of her.

The girl had told her stepfather that she had gone for a walk Friday afternoon in the Town of Tainter and had been abducted by an unknown man who had grabbed her from behind and had placed a rag over her face that smelled like alcohol.

More than 14 hours later, the girl claimed to have awakened in a corn field near her residence with her hands tied in front of her and her back covered with dirt.

Deputies arrived at the residence and spent several hours investigating the alleged incident.

Sheriff’s deputies also met the victim at the hospital and taped off a possible crime scene based on the girl’s statement.

The Bridge to Hope and the Menomonie Fire Department were asked to provide assistance.

On the afternoon of June 1, an investigator was called in to follow up on the alleged incident.

After several hours of investigation, the investigator learned that the whole incident had been made up because the 16-year-old girl was in trouble with her family.

The girl had gone to a party with friends, and when she realized she was in trouble, she asked a friend to tie her hands and to drop her off near her residence.

After the investigation was completed and the false statements were documented, a juvenile warrant was obtained, and the girl was picked up and placed in secure detention.

The 16-year-old is being charged with obstructing an officer.

The Dunn County Sheriff’s Department also is planning to request that the girl pay restitution for 23 hours of overtime spent investigating the incident and for the assistance from the other agencies.

According to Paul Gunness, chief deputy at the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, the cost for investigating the alleged incident could be around $1,000.

In the news release, Dunn County Sheriff Dennis Smith said the incident should serve as a warning to county residents.

“I want the public to be aware of this and (to know) that anyone providing false information will be arrested and restitution for any expenses will be requested,” Sheriff Smith wrote.

Because the girl is a juvenile, her name and address cannot be released.

On May 29, a Minnesota woman sent a text message to her mother in Boyceville saying that she was being held hostage.

About 30 law enforcement officers responded, including the Eau Claire SWAT team.

People’s State Bank in Boyceville was used as a staging area for law enforcement, leading to a rumor that the bank had been robbed and hostages were being held inside.