Two Robstown teens were arrested July 31 after police said the girls lied to officers about one of the girls reportedly being kidnapped by two men.
Detective Arturo Gonzalez of the Robstown Police Department said he was dispatched to a call at about 8 p.m. to a home in the 500 block of Central Street about a reported kidnapping.
Police said the hysterical mother of a 15-year-old girl told officers her daughter's 13-year-old friend witnessed the teen's abduction by two Hispanic males in a white van with the license plate covered with black spray paint.
The 13-year-old girl, who was reportedly in tears, told officers that the men had tattoos on their arms and were wearing black muscle shirts, police said.
"The stress level is real high due to child abductions going on around the state and the gang murders in (Corpus Christi) - we thought this was something like that," Gonzalez said.
Robstown police immediately put out a call for assistance to law enforcement branches from surrounding areas, including the Corpus Christi and Alice police departments, Texas Department of Public Safety, as well as utilizing parole officers to aid in the search for the missing teen.
"We started stopping white vans everywhere," Gonzalez said, adding that police even went to convenience stores to look at surveillance videos to see if anyone matching the suspects' description had gone into any of the businesses.
Officers were searching heavily until about 10 p.m., and information was even sent over to the state's Amber Alert system for broadcast, when a relative of the missing girl called Robstown police and said the girl had been found, police said.
It turned out she wasn't really missing after all.
"(The 13-year-old) said, 'She made me make up a story,'" Gonzalez said, adding that the "missing" 15-year-old teen had been at the 13-year-old's house the entire time, where officers went promptly to pick her up for questioning. The no-longer-missing girl was brought back to the Robstown Police Department to answer to officers, police said.
"She tried to give us the same story, that she was abducted, but we told her, 'Look, we know the truth, we know everything,'" Gonzalez said.
The 15-year-old girl told officers that she had gotten into an argument with her mother earlier in the day and did not want to go home, so she asked her friend to lie and come up with a story, police said.
Both girls, who police declined to identify, were placed under arrest for allegedly making false reports to a peace officer, a Class B misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, and were transported to the Nueces County Juvenile Center.
The teens were still being detained as of Friday morning.
For officers, even though the alleged kidnapping proved to be a hoax, the incident was no laughing matter.
"We're just glad that she's not hurt, even though she 'cried wolf,'" Gonzalez said. "But we don't want people to do this just to stay away from the house.
"Both of them realize what they did was wrong."