Prosecutor on 'Kidnapped' Teen: She Lied

17-year-old turned up bloody at French eatery after vanishing 24 hours earlier, claiming an abduction
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 10, 2021 10:20 AM CST
Updated Nov 13, 2021 7:30 AM CST
Teen Who Disappeared for 24 Hours: I Was Kidnapped
This stock photo shows a phone on a road, with spots of blood.   (Getty Images/KatarzynaBialasiewicz)

Update: She wasn't abducted after all. A 17-year-old who vanished during a run, then turned up bloody 24 hours later at an eatery in western France, claiming she'd been kidnapped by two men, has now admitted she made the whole thing up, reports the BBC. Local prosecutor Celine Maigne says the girl "lied" about being kidnapped, though why she did so remains "unexplained." As for the blood on the teen when she emerged at a kebab restaurant in Sable-sur-Sarthe, Maigne says it was from an accidental injury that happened when the girl "cut her T-shirt with a pair of scissors." Maigne adds that the teen has said "she is sorry to have caused a mass mobilization" of people to look for her, per RTE. That apology won't keep the girl out of trouble, though: She's set to face charges for false reporting of a crime. Our original story from Wednesday follows:

A French girl reported missing Monday turned up at a restaurant late Tuesday, claiming to have escaped kidnappers. The unidentified 17-year-old failed to return from her usual jog in the Mayenne region of northwest France on Monday afternoon. Her father, who went looking for her, discovered her phone and GPS watch in a forest, along with spots of blood, reports the BBC. Data from a running app showed the girl was less than a quarter of the way through what was usually a 3-mile run when she came to a halt. More than 200 law enforcement personnel were searching for the teen when she turned up at a kebab restaurant in Sable-sur-Sarthe, 6 miles from where she'd been running, around 8pm Tuesday, per BFM TV.

A witness told the outlet that the girl, who had blood on her, "escaped from the vehicle of her kidnapper and found refuge" in the restaurant, at which point the kidnapper fled. The teen told police she'd been held captive by multiple people but couldn't identify them or the location she was taken, French media reported. She was taken to a hospital by ambulance and reunited with family. Regional prosecutor Celine Maigne—who'd opened a kidnapping investigation before the girl was found, per AFP—said Wednesday that a man arrested while intoxicated on Monday evening, who'd given conflicting statements to officers, was released and is no longer considered a suspect. (More kidnapping stories.)

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