Man accused of making up story of missing boy

March 7, 2010 4:05:38 PM PST
An Amber Alert was issued for a young boy Sunday morning, but police say the story of the missing child was a big lie. Investigators are also saying the boy that officers were looking for doesn't even exist. The strange case started with a carjacking at a Walgreens off Bellaire and Fondren in southwest Houston early Sunday morning. Police arrived on the scene around 4:15am. They say at the time, the man they've identified as 35-year-old Darrell Jones told police that his Lincoln Navigator was taken from him by armed carjackers. He then he went on to say his 6-year-old nephew was inside.

Police began a search immediately in the area. They even issued an Amber Alert, but a few hours later, investigators say Jones changed his story, saying while his SUV was stolen, there was no child inside.

He says he thought police would work more quickly to find his vehicle if they thought there was a child inside. Jones is being questioned now for filing that false report.

We spoke with officials with the Houston Regional Amber Plan and they say they do not want this incident to discourage people from taking other Amber Alerts seriously.

"We try to prevent this kind of thing as much as you can, but frankly, when somebody comes forward and says in a panic, 'There is a kid and they are in danger,' we have to react based on that," said Beth Alberts with the Houston Regional Amber Plan.

Jones does have a criminal record, including past theft charges. We are still waiting to hear exactly what charges he may face in this case, although filing a false police report may be the likely scenario.

The Amber Alert coordinator tells Eyewitness News since the Amber Alert was initiated here in 2000, this is only the second time a false report leading to an alert has been made. There have been 99 alerts to date.


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