A man who reported the abduction of a girl in Hollywood last month leading to a massive investigation involving the FBI and other agencies has been arrested after police say he made the story up.
Wilker Joseph, 27, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of making a false arrest after detectives determined no abduction took place, Hollywood Police officials said.
Joseph had called police the morning of Feb. 12 to report an armed abduction of a child that he witnessed on his way to work, police said. Hollywood officers, along with the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service and Broward Sheriff's Office, responded to investigate.
Authorities conducted a massive search and a BOLO was issued in multiple counties for the alleged victim and suspects, but after reviewing surveillance footage from the area, detectives determined Joseph made false and misleading statements about the incident, officials said.
Reached by phone Wednesday, Joseph said he stand by his account of the kidnapping, but said he couldn't comment further.
The report said Joseph was on his way to work at Avant Garde Academy in Hollywood where he was a computer science teacher when the alleged kidnapping happened. Someone at the school told NBC 6 he no longer works there.
"A missing child is something we take very seriously and all those resources that morning, ours, went to finding out that this was not true," Hollywood Police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said. "This kidnapping was false, was fabricated, was made up by this arrestee. Luckily it wasn't true."