Fresno city and county law enforcement have investigated two attempted child abductions in less than 24 hours. Authorities now say both reports were fake.
The latest report came Wednesday morning at Wawona Middle School. The Fresno County's Sheriff's Office responded to a call that two men in a van tried to kidnap a 13-year-old girl. Deputies learned the story was made up. Officials say the girl was late to school often, and this might have been an excuse for being late again.
Executive Director of the Fresno Council on Child Abuse Prevention, Esther Franco says, "Teens is a very difficult time. You're looking at a transitional period as far as emotional development."
So, what prompted these teens to lie about something so serious? Child experts say there could be many reasons. It could be a need for attention or it could be deeper issues.
"There's a whole culture of behavioral issues, you know maybe they're living in an environment where there is a lot of chaos and drama. The first thing we would question is what's going on at home or what's going on at school, where this teen would do something so drastic?" says Franco.
Police say it was personal problems at home and at school that fueled another fib. Tuesday, a 15-year-old Bullard High School student claimed a man tried to kidnap her. She told police she fought the so-called attacker off with a pair of scissors.
Deputy Chief Keith Foster, Fresno PD says, "They weren't where they were supposed to be so the mother inquired on where they were, what they were doing. The alleged victim ultimately recanted and indicated she fabricated the story to not get in trouble at home."
Fresno police say the lies won't be taken lightly. The 15-year-old girl was charged with lying to police and filing a false police report.
The Fresno Police Department says it's received 12 reports of attempted abductions this year. Eleven of those were fake.
The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has not confirmed if the 13-year-old girl will face any charges.