Ventura Park Kidnapping Report Determined to be Falsely Reported

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May 06, 2013 17:05

  

On May 3, 2013, a 16-year-old female David Douglas High School student reported having been kidnapped by an Hispanic male, who allegedly had dragged her into a white panel van, across from Ventura Park, located at Southeast 113th Avenue and Stark Street, during the afternoon of May 2, 2013.

The female claimed to have been driven a short distance, where she said the suspect had then suddenly released her, unharmed. She did not report the incident to police until the following day.

Numerous officers and detectives became involved in this investigation, which included multiple interviews and a weekend door-to-door canvass of the neighborhood surrounding the park, in an attempt to locate witnesses or evidence to support the victim's story. Missing Persons Unit detectives began to note inconsistencies in the victim's version of the events leading up to, during, and after the alleged abduction.

Detectives met with the victim again this morning, Monday May 6, 2013, at which time she was confronted with the facts of the investigation, the inconsistencies in her statements, as well as a lack of evidence to support her story. The young woman confessed that she had not been the victim of a kidnapping, or of any other crime.

The young woman told detectives she had been scared by an adult Hispanic male (described in the original news release), driving the described van, after he had honked at her and had seemed to have been following her, as she walked home from school, along Southeast Stark Street. She said that as she neared Ventura Park, the man parked his van and called out to her, which she had interpreted as threatening behavior. She said she ran away from the area, and later decided to report that she had been kidnapped.

The young woman has confessed that the man never approached her, nor did he ever attempt any physical contact with her.

Further details of her statement provided to detectives, including her reasons for having lied about the kidnapping, will not be released at this time, as this case will be presented to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office for prosecution consideration, related to possible criminal charges including Initiating a False Report, which is a Class C misdemeanor.

The Portland Police Bureau takes these incidents very seriously, and urges anyone who believes they are in danger to get to safety, seek help, and immediately call 9-1-1.

Anyone with additional information about this incident is asked to contact Detective Mike Weinstein, at (503) 823-0446 or Mike.Weinstein@portlandoregon.gov.

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