OKLAHOMA CITY – An Amber Alert, which was issued Monday evening in Oklahoma City, turns out to be a hoax.
The teen at the center of the case was found safe hours later.
Authorities say 16-year-old Yoceli Deleon allegedly admitted she made up the abduction story.
However, police arrested her boyfriend, 21-year-old Radolfo Lopez.
It all started in a neighborhood along N.W 14th St. when Deleon’s parents reported their daughter missing.
Officers say the family had text messages from the victim’s boyfriend that threatened to kill the teen.
Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow, with the Oklahoma City Police Department, said, “The mother reported they were getting threatening text messages, threatening the girl’s life, so they were concerned for her safety. Our investigators had no reason to believe otherwise.”
Police eventually tracked down the missing teen to an apartment complex on N.W. 10th St.
They soon realized the abduction never happened.
“It was eventually determined there was no credibility to the story,” said Wardlow. “The girl had made the story up.”
Even though the abduction turned out to be fake, police say they followed the state’s Amber Plan to the letter.
Oklahoma’s Amber Plan lays out two criteria for determining whether to issue an Amber Alert.
First, the abducted child must be 17-years-old or younger and there had to be “reason to believe the victim is in imminent danger of serious bodily harm or death.”
According to police, both applied to this case.
“Investigators determined there was a need for an Amber Alert,” said Wardlow. “They were concerned for this girl’s safety. Because we believed she was in danger, we immediately put it out to the public.”
The state plan does add, “Law enforcement should make a concentrated effort to verify that an actual abduction has taken place, but some margin for error must be tolerated.”
It is a misdemeanor to falsely report an abduction that results in an Amber Alert.
If convicted, violators can face up to a year in the county jail.
The victim’s boyfriend was arrested on a separate charge of providing alcohol to a minor.