TURLOCK — A 13-year-old girl admitted Thursday that she made up a story about being kidnapped Wednesday morning.
According to police Capt. Mike Langston, the Dutcher Middle School student was meeting with an investigator seeking more details about the incident when she broke down and said she'd lied about it.
"She basically indicated that her friend put her up to it," Langston said.
The girl Wednesday told a friend a man accosted her and threw her in a van with three other men. The friend then told a school official, who called police.
Langston said investigators had some indication Wednesday the story might be false. But they had to operate under the assumption it wasn't.
"We'll always err on the side of safety and make sure the public's safe," Langston said Thursday afternoon.
Also, the attackers the girl described bore some resemblance to those in the attempted kidnapping of a 14-year-old Davis High School student in Modesto earlier this month. Police originally thought the two attacks might be connected.
The school district sent a letter home with students about the incident. Police beefed up patrols near schools Thursday morning and briefed school resource officers on suspicious information the girl provided.
Langston estimated the false alarm cost about $2,000 in resources and diverted officers from their regular duties.
"These are officers not patrolling elsewhere, not doing traffic enforcement and proactive police work," Langston said.
The investigation was continuing, but the girl likely won't face any criminal charges associated with filing a false report.
"We haven't fully considered all the options, but it's not likely, based on her age and not having any kind of criminal history," he said.
Bee staff writer Patty Guerra can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2343.