Teen French jogger admits to lying over alleged kidnapping

·1-min read
The forested path near Saint-Brice, in western France, where a teenage French girl claimed she was abducted by two men, sparking a search involving hundreds of police. (AFP/JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER)

A 17-year-old girl who said she was kidnapped while jogging in western France, triggering a frantic search by hundreds of police, has admitted her story was a hoax, prosecutors said Friday.

Under questioning the teenager, identified in media reports as Lisa P., said she had "lied" about an abduction by two men Monday and her eventual escape the next day, said the public prosecutor for the city of Laval, Celine Maigne.

The girl's parents reported her missing on Monday evening after she failed to return from a run in a forest near her home in Saint-Brice, a small town some 70 kilometres (45 miles) from Le Mans.

Her father later found some of her personal effects while searching her regular jogging route, which local radio France Bleu said included a telephone and earphones that appeared to have traces of blood.

That prompted authorities to deploy some 200 officers in a search that dominated media headlines.

Le Parisien newspaper, for example, quoted classmates describing Lisa as "someone who never had any trouble, very nice, simple, and ready to lend a hand to anyone."

She was later discovered the next day at a kebab shop in Sable-sur-Sarthe, a town some 10 kilometres away, and reunited with her family.

She claimed that two men had grabbed her and put her into a green utility van, but that she managed to escape and flee by foot.

She has said "she is sorry to have caused a mass mobilisation" of searchers, Maigne added in a statement, and will now face charges of falsely reporting a crime.

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