Missing girl report believed to be prank to confuse police
Nine Eagle County first responder agencies were dispatched Tuesday morning to search for a 12-year-old girl by the name of “Addy” who called 911 in “serious distress.” Now, police believe the call may have been a prank meant to confuse them.
The report came in at 9:17 a.m. Tuesday morning and, within a few hours, two community alerts and a press release had been issued.
Personnel from Eagle Police, Avon Police, Colorado State Patrol, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, Greater Eagle Fire Protection District, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Vail Public Safety Communications Center and Eagle County Schools joined the search as well as a team from the Eagle River Valley Hope Center.
The female remained in contact with 911 dispatchers off and on for several hours. She told dispatchers that she had left her house and was outside, possibly on her front lawn. She also told them she was very sick and suicidal, and seemed to be fading in and out of consciousness.
Law enforcement canvassed the broader Eagle area, where they thought the girl might be based on an initial call trace, according to a press release sent Tuesday.
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They worked to locate the exact source of the call and eventually concluded that it came from a landline phone associated with a local business.
The business was contacted and was found to have no staff who had made an emergency call or were named Addy, according to a subsequent press release sent Tuesday evening.
Authorities said they have reason to believe that the report was a fake call made to confuse or thwart first responder agencies.
These kinds of fraudulent calls are often referred to as “swatting” and usually entail descriptions of some kind of “serious but non-existent crime or threat,” according to the release.
These kinds of calls are often made using the internet or through fake telephone numbers, which makes them difficult to trace.
If you or someone you know is in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, please contact the Eagle River Valley Hope Center’s 24/7 crisis line at (970) 306-4673 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at (800) 273-8255.
Email Kelli Duncan at firstname.lastname@example.org