LAURINBURG, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff's office says a multi-agency search for a missing woman and her newborn were based on false reports meant to solicit donations.
News outlets report the Scotland County Sheriff's Office says 30-year-old Danilla Mitzia "Missy" Bethea was arrested Friday and charged with offenses including obtaining property by false pretenses.
Deputies were told Thursday that newborn Lee Ann Morrison was missing and mother April Morrison may have been deceased or was being held against her will.
The sheriff's office says authorities were led to believe the Morrisons were victims of human trafficking, but an investigation concluded that April Morrison and her baby didn't exist.
Investigators say Bethea told them the pair was safe, but gave inconsistent details. It’s unclear if she has a lawyer.