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Police: Kidnapping Is A Hoax

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BOURBONNAIS, Ill. (STMW) – An Olivet Nazarane University student from Romeoville told Bourbonnais police she was abducted on Halloween and held for seven hours by a man who kissed her repeatedly.

Police took the report seriously, especially in light of the sexual assault and murder of a Northern Illinois University student last month. But the Olivet student’s report turned out to be a hoax, said Bourbonnais Lt. Greg Kunce.

“There were some red flags from the onset, but I never say never,” he said. “So until I got a chance to speak with the victim we treated it like a legitimate abduction case and we needed to find a suspect.”

Olivet officials sent out an e-mail alert when the abduction was first reported.

“That spread like wildfire,” Kunce said.

The “victim,” identified as Amanda C. Eskew, 19, told police she was forced into a car and held down while a man kisssed her about the face and neck.

She said he drove for hours then took her into what she thought was a basement and kissed her some more.

She said she was not sexually assaulted nor inappropriately fondled. The man then drove the student back to a spot near her apartment and dropped her off about 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Eskew first told her story to her roommate. The roommate notified campus police who notified Bourbonnais police.

Police interviewed Eskew then she returned home to Romeoville and didn’t return to Bourbonnais, where Olivet is located, until Wednesday, Kunce said.

Upon further questioning Wednesday, the story unraveled, Kunce said. She admitted to making up the tale but wouldn’t say why.

On Thursday, police located a man that they say Eskew was with during the time she said she was abducted. The man was not her boyfriend, who had been trying to reach her by cell phone during the “abduction.” That could be her motive for making up the story, Kunce said.

Eskew was charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 fine and/or 364 days in jail or probation. She posted $100 bond and her court date is Dec. 9.

The Kankakee County state’s attorney’s office will review the charges today.

“It could have been a felony and it still could be if the state’s attorney decides to upgrade it,” Kunce said.

Kunce said police can’t take such reports lightly, even if there are red flags initially. But they also can’t ignore someone who makes up a report because it’s a crime.

“There’s got to be some consequences to that kind of behavior (especially) in light of what’s going on on campuses around the country,” he said.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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