May 27, 2009 -- A Pennsylvania woman who vanished after calling 911 to say she had been abducted and stuffed in the trunk of a car along with her young daughter apparently faked the abduction, booked a flight to Orlando, where she checked into a hotel under an alias and then took her daughter to visit a Disney theme park, law enforcement sources told ABC News.
Bonnie Sweeten, 38, was taken into custody in Orlando after being apprehended by the FBI and Orange County police at the Grand Floridian resort and is being charged with false reports and identity theft, Bucks County, Pa., District Attorney Michelle Henry said this evening.
Sweeten will not face any federal charges at this time, the prosecutor said.
Her 9-year-old daughter, Julia Rakoczy, was with authorities in Orlando and was to be picked up by her biological father, Anthony Rakoczy, Henry said.
While Sweeten's motive for fleeing was unclear, Henry indicated that domestic and financial problems were likely at the root of it.
According to court documents, Sweeten used former coworker Jillian Jenkinson's drivers license when she bought airline tickets to Orlando after reporting the abduction. She obtained the license on Tuesday by telling Jenkinson that she needed to borrow her driver's license to photocopy it in order to roll over Jenkinson's 401k account. Jenkinson expected to get her license back later that day.
Sweeten and her daughter were last heard from about 1:45 p.m. when she called 911 to say she had been in a minor car accident in Bucks County, a Philadelphia suburb. She called a second time moments later to say she had been tossed in the trunk of a Cadillac by two black men, according to police."This was a total fabrication on her part," Henry said this evening.
Shortly after first 911 call, Sweeten called her husband Larry's cell phone and left a tearful voicemail, describing the carjacking and how she feared for her life. On the message she told her husband she loved him and if she didn't see him again to tell the children she loved them.
As the investigation developed, investigators became increasingly skeptical of her abduction tale, which was told against the backdrop of a probe into Sweeten's alleged involvement in the theft of about $300,000 from her former employer, an attorney in Upper Makefield Township, sources close to the investigation told ABC News.
Sweeten also had recently told a friend, investigators said, that she was feeling suicidal. Investigators said friends and relatives noted she was scared in the days prior to her disappearance.
Authorities had already noted that Sweeten had withdrawn about $12,000 from several bank accounts over a period of days.
Cell Phone Records Cast Doubt on Abduction Story
One of the first pieces of information that called her version of events into doubt was the fact that cell phone records indicated that Sweeten's frantic call to 911 dispatchers reporting her kidnapping in Bucks County originated from a location in Philadelphia's Center City neighborhood, and not from a suburb 25 miles away where she lived.Then an airport video was discovered that allegedly showed her boarding a plane for Orlando about 3 p.m., a little more than an hour after she reported being abducted.
A black Cadillac with front-end damage was located by police, but the FBI later said the car was not linked to the abduction.
Early today police discovered Sweeten's silver GMC Yukon Denali, which they reported finding unlocked, without keys and with a parking ticket on its windshield in Center City, an area of downtown Philadelphia that is well-known for its bustling restaurants and shops.
Sweeten, a mother of three children, has an 8-month-old baby with her husband, Larry Sweeten. They live in Feasterville, Pa. Police in the suburb where Sweeten lives indicated that family members are known to them.
ABCNews.com was unable to reach Anthony Rakoczy, Sweeten's ex-husband with whom she had two children: Paige, 15, and Julia, 9.
On NBC's "Today" show today, Rakoczy said that he did not know why anyone would abduct his ex-wife and daughter.
"I have no clue," said Rakoczy, who said he has maintained a good relationship with Sweeten since their divorce.
Rakoczy said that Sweeten was known for being "very organized" and that his daughter was "always dancing around the house" and "loved sports."