An amber alert that sent multiple police departments out in full force to search for a missing baby, has been deemed a “hoax”.
Saturday night, programming was interrupted, billboards went up, and cell phones rang out with alarm, encouraging people to search for a suspect in a 2000 gold Ford Taurus whom they believed stole the child from a Farmington gas station, but again, it wasn’t true.
Instead, police determined that the missing baby story was fabricated as a way for a man named Mitchell Dutz, to pursue charges against the person who robbed him during a drug deal.
Here is the message sent out by Fulton County Emergency Services Department, explaining exactly what happened.
“At 5:01 PM a 911 call was received by Fulton County Sheriff’s Department reporting a stolen car with an infant in the backseat. A Farmington Police Department Officer arrived on scene shortly thereafter and was informed by the Mitchell Dutz that his vehicle was stolen by three suspects while he paid for fuel. Officer Steck notified Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police and Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency. A command post was set up at Farmington Police Department and an investigation was launched.
During the interview process it was determined that Dutz had fabricated the entire story. Dutz was allegedly robbed during a drug deal and had used the infant as a way to pursue charges against the alleged persons who robbed him. At no time was an infant abducted or was there any car stolen. The alleged subject, James Jackson, named by Mitchell Dutz was not involved in any way. Once that was confirmed an extensive investigation was launched to make sure there was no infant at risk. An investigation was conducted with multiple different departments to confirm that no infant was at risk.
Farmington Police Department would like to thank the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State Police, Peoria County Sheriff’s Department, East Peoria Police Department, Bartonville Police Department, City of Peoria Police Department, Fulton County Public Information Office and Fulton County Emergency Services and Disaster Agency for their response. Dutz is being charged with Residential Burglary, False Police Report, False Representation of Police Statement, False 911 Call and various other charges are pending.”