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Sheriff: Girl made up report about Florida kidnapping

Investigators say a little girl made up a report about a kidnapping in Florida. (Pasco County Sheriff's Office)

Investigators say a young girl made up a report about a kidnapping in central Florida.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office began investigating a possible kidnapping in New Port Richey Tuesday afternoon. A 9-year-old girl initially told investigators she saw a man in a van grab a girl from the street and drive away. According to detectives, the girl said the abductor tossed a pink shirt out the window as he drove past her, which investigators later found in the road.

Deputies swarmed the neighborhood.

"You want to throw everything you have at it right away quickly because if that child is picked up by somebody in a vehicle or any means of travel we want to locate that person quickly," said a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

During the search, deputies came across surveillance video that contradicted the little girl's claims.

Investigators talked to the girl again. She admitted to making up the story and had recently been thinking and talking about child abductions. The girl told detectives she found the pink shirt in the road and told her 11-year-old friend about the abduction. The friend called her mom who ultimately called 911. The sheriff's office said the girl's friend did the right thing.

"It's so important, like that 11-year-old, if you hear something, if somebody tells you something, if you see something, obviously if you know it's true, report it," said the spokesman. "But if you know something is not true, if you know it's just false and you want to make up a story because it sounds neat or you want to play a joke on your friend or whatever, you can see what it does to the community, how many resources it brings out. We had a lot of people involved in this investigation in a short amount of time."

Investigators say people can be arrested and charged with reporting a false crime. In this case, the sheriff's office said the girl is not expected to be charged. Investigators are talking about the matter with her parents.

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