Anika LavenderI remember as a teenager I would do silly things to get the attention of boys that I may have liked by wearing new clothes or by fixing my hair differently or by some other silly teenage girl’s ways but it was always harmless and certainly didn’t hurt anyone else nor did it cost anyone anything.

Apparently a Florida teenager had a break-up with her boyfriend causing the girl to go to desperate measures by playing the sympathy card to get his attention. She decided to fake her own kidnapping. Ankita Lavender, 16 called her Dad Tuesday night and told him she had been kidnapped by two men in a white truck near Ridaught and County Road 220 in Middlebrug, Florida.

The girl’s mother then placed a call to 911 and relayed all that the girl was telling her to dispatchers. The father got on the phone with the 911 operator and told them that the truck had stopped and he heard his daughter telling the two men to stop and then she hung the phone up.

She had previously told her boyfriend that she was being followed which gave cause for the authorities to issue an Amber Alert for Ankita. She was found about three hours later when a driver spotted her laying on her back on the side of the road near the intersection of Henley and Carlotta roads. The driver called 911 and she was taken to the hospital after she complained about injuries from her supposedly being thrown from the truck by her kidnappers, although there were no visible injuries seem.

When questioned about the kidnapping she continued with her story but eventually she admitted that it was all a hoax to try to get the attention from the boyfriend that had broken up with her two days before this. She claimed she was sad and came up with the plan to “play the sympathy card” by faking her own kidnapping.

During the investigation it was discovered that the girl had tweeted hints that she was going to do this even before the breakup with her boyfriend with tweets such as “MIA for a while” on April 23, 2014, “finally have a plan” on April 24, 2014, “If I disappeared it wouldn’t even be a problem” on April 27, 2014, “I have no reason to stay anymore” on April 27, 2014 and finally she tweeted “Goodbye” on April 28, 2014.

Now while this young girl was playing her prank, Clay County Sheriff’s Office Colonel Craig Aldrich said that about 40 investigators responded within the first two hours to begin their search on the ground and in the air to try to locate the girl, costing the county an estimated $5,000 to $6000 for the search. The sheriff is seeking to charge the girl for the costly search.

“My personal opinion is that she should be charged, but that’s a matter for the state attorney’s office,” said the sheriff.

The County could possibly charge her with a misdemeanor charge of filing a false police report but since Lavender is a minor it will not be made public whether or not she will be charged.

I think the young teens or anyone for that matter should have to face the consequences when they pull such foolish pranks. I don’t think she should have anything harsh held against her but she should be held responsible for her actions.

At any rate I thank God she is OK and that nothing seriously happened to her. Maybe she will learn her lesson throughout all this, especially if it was all for nothing.

Jan Barrett

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