Abduction story turns out to be fake

UPDATE – After a 14-year-old Northeast Columbia girl told sheriff’s deputies last month that a masked man tried to abduct her, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department released a statement Wednesday that the girl had made up the story.

A sheriff’s spokesperson said the teen had actually met another person outside her home on the evening of Feb. 26, then concocted a story describing how she was grabbed by a man in dark clothing and dragged toward a waiting dirty white van. According to sheriff’s deputies, she said she only escaped after her dog bit the man.

But investigators eventually learned that only the girl saw the van and the alleged abductor, contrasting what deputies were originally told, the sheriff’s department said.

The girl made up the abduction story to avoid getting in trouble with her parents after meeting with another person outside the home that evening, according to the release.

The sheriff’s department said it is exploring possible legal action to recover the costs of the investigation.

“We do not have a monetary figure at this time,” sheriff’s department officials said in the release.

Sheriff Leon Lott thanked those who called in tips and reviewed their surveillance videos in hopes of catching the van.

Read the abduction story here.