A teenage girl in California who admitted to faking her own abduction in an effort “to get sympathy from her family” could soon be facing fines of more than $30,000 from law enforcement for wasting police resources.
An Amber Alert was issued for 17-year-old Christina Almanza on Dec. 8 when her family reported her missing after receiving a voicemail and “disturbing” text messages from Almanza.
“The voicemail and text messages stated that she, and possibly other females, were being held against their will in a basement and that one female had possibly been killed,” according to a police report from the Suisun City Police Department in California.
The teen was found the next day when officials went to a home to seek information from one of Almanza’s contacts. When they arrived, they found the blue 1999 Oldsmobile minivan that she was last seen driving parked in the driveway.
Almanza confessed that the text messages had been fake.
“She actually admitted that all those were false. She made all those up,” Suison Police Cmdr. Tim Mattos told ABCNews.com. “She did it to get attention from her family.”
Almanza told authorities that she did not expect law enforcement to get involved.
Reports said that Almanza faked the abduction because she was afraid of telling her family she was pregnant. While police did not medically confirm whether or not she was pregnant, they said the following:
“During the investigation, we were receiving information from different sources believing that she may be pregnant and that may be what caused her to disappear,” Mattos told ABCNews.com.
Mattos added that Almanza already has a 2-year-old child.
Suison Police Chief Ed Dadisho told ABCNews.com that the futile search was frustrating because of the other crimes the police force could have been fighting.
“I could have had a task force on some drug activity or gang activity,” Dadisho said. “This is serious stuff. If you’re in trouble, we’ll expend all of our resources in trying to find you. But if it turns out to be a hoax, we’ll do it likewise and try to prosecute you and get restitution.”
Dadisho said the police department is filing for restitution and is in the process of calculating how much money was lost in the search. He said that the tally so far has come to $30,000 for a day and a half of searching.
Seven police agencies were involved in the search on federal, state and local levels.