Authorities say a Delray Beach teen made up the story that she was abducted and instead went to see a man she met on the Internet, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported.
Jade Beneby, 17, confessed to authorities that she had made up the story when she texted her mother on Tuesday morning, police said. She had sent two messages to her mother, one saying she needed help, and another that she was being held in the trunk of a car. The girl confessed she was faced with the inconsistencies in her story, authorities said.
"There was no abduction," the newspaper quoted Delray Beach Police spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Guerriero as saying.
Guerriero said Beneby made up the story because she was scared she would get into trouble for ditching school to be with the man.
"We believe it was fear because she hadn't gone to school, and there was some fear involved as far as her maybe getting into trouble when she got home," Guerriero was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Beneby will perform community service so that she can avoid facing a perjury charge. She will also go to a juvenile treatment program.
Guerriero said Beneby probably didn't realize the effect her story would have, which sparked a massive search across South Florida for the teen.
The man, who was not identified, will not be charged as he wasn't a participant in the story, authorities said.