Charges may be filed against family who faked kidnapping in Olympia
OLYMPIA, Wash. -- The state patrol and Thurston County Prosecutor are trying to figure if charges are going to be filed against the family that faked a kidnapping in Olympia. People who saw it happen thought it was real, which led to several tense hours.
An all points bulletin was on the lookout for a red truck seen taking what people thought were three kidnap victims, including children Wednesday night.
"There is something going on right by the Capitol Lake," a 911 caller said. "I don't know what happened. People screamed. I see something. I don't what it is."
The state patrol wanted the media to get out the word about what looked to be a kidnapping by five to six young men in white moon suits.
"That's serious stuff," said Washington State Patrol Sargent James Prouty. "We definitely take abductions seriously, especially when they involve a child."
For almost ten hours the search was on. It was believed young lives were at stake. Just before 9 a.m. on Wednesday the truth came out.
"Through the investigation and through our partnerships we were able to receive some credible tips," Prouty said. "Our detectives followed up on those tips and located all of the individuals involved."
The state patrol said it was all done by a family. Their idea was to play a prank on the youngest kids, ages 11 and 15-years-old, by turning a scavenger hunt into an 'escape room-style kidnapping.'
"But I'm so relieved to hear that it was a joke, said park visitor Marygrace Goddu. "I mean I'm angry a little bit, but i'm mostly really really relieved."
Hoaxes are rare, but they really get people stirred up, like the one that happened four years ago in Sequim.
"A man pulled up in a van and stole a kid off a bench and drove," a 911 caller said.
It turns out two cousins were making a child safety video not realizing the panic they caused everyone. They made a public apology.
The family in this most recent incident told detectives they believed the prank would be a fun opportunity for the family and didn't realize the serious implications it would bring.