Police: Attempted kidnapping report unfounded

MANISTEE — Manistee City Police say reports of an attempted kidnapping were unfounded and they are not looking for any suspect following a situation Thursday afternoon.

Around 1:45 p.m. Manistee City Police responded to the Rietz Park area in Manistee in reference to a possible abduction.

“We started talking to a young juvenile, we’ll say victim, that reported they were abducted but were able to get out of the car,” said Tim Kozal, City of Manistee Department of Public Safety Director. “We started canvassing, we started interviewing witnesses. Of course, we interviewed the victim.”

After obtaining information about a possible suspect and vehicle, officers started looking out for a vehicle in the area, said Kozal.

“We started getting more information from witnesses, and led us to do more interviews of the victim, after a couple hours we were able to determine it was a false alarm. It was unfounded,” he said. “We are not looking for anybody.”

Kozal said the juvenile did not want to get in trouble for something and made up a story. A person who falsely reports a crime can face criminal charges.

“It’s tough because of the person’s age,” he said. “In this instance, do you handle it with a parent? There’s a brand new diversion program with our Probate Court, do we have them do some counseling? We’ll determine that (today) when we contact Probate.”

City police received assistance from the Michigan State Police and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Department of Public Safety.

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