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A Lincoln County woman is facing charges after deputies say she lied about her young daughter being kidnapped, sparking a statewide Amber Alert.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Mary Bowen, 25, told deputies on Sunday night that Troy Lee Koonce, Junior, kidnapped her three-year-old daughter, Christina, from her Lincolnton home.
Bowen told police that she and Koonce went to the store to purchase cigarettes and candy with the children after he showed up at her residence Sunday afternoon around 3:00 p.m.
When they returned home, Bowen told him that she would not return to Washington, NC - where the couple had lived together. That's when she says he put Christina in a van and left.
Investigators say the Koonce is listed as the father on the little girl's birth certificate, which is recorded in the Register of Deeds Office in Pitt County. Bowen told deputies that Koonce was her cousin and ex-boyfriend.
Koonce was arrested on Monday morning and was held in the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond.
According to the Sheriff's Office, Bowen lied about the kidnapping.
Detectives met with the District Attorney to have the 2nd Degree Kidnapping warrant charging Koonce stricken from the records.
Bowen was charged with false/misleading/unfounded report to police/law enforcement. According to the arrest warrant, "[Bowen] unlawfully and willfully did make to law enforcement officer Detective Kelly Paris a false report and state that her 3 year old child had been kidnapped by Troy Lee Koonce, Jr. and that Troy Lee Koonce, Jr. was not the biological father of this child when in fact he was for the purpose of interfering with the operation of a law enforcement agency."
She was taken to the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center and placed under a $10,000 secured bond.
Lieutenant Johnson said the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office response was for the protection of the 3-year-old child. He said, "We wanted to do all we could do to protect the children of Lincoln County."