By CRA News Service
DELRAY BEACH -Jade Beneby, the teen who was the subject of a massive statewide search earlier this week made up the story that she was abducted, Delray Beach police said Thursday afternoon.
“Detectives spent numerous hours investigating the crime and found some inconsistencies,” police spokeswoman Sgt. Nicole Guerriero said at a news conference. “Today our detectives confronted her with those inconsistencies and she admitted that she voluntarily went to Miami [with] a young adult male she met the night before on the Internet. There was no abduction.”
Police did not name the man, and he is not expected to be charged because he was not part of the deception.
The Atlantic High School senior disappeared on her way to a bus stop at Southwest 8th Avenue and Southwest 1st Street Tuesday morning.
She had left her home between 6:30 and 7 a.m. and told her mother via text at 7:05 a.m. that she needed help, and that she was locked in the trunk of a car.
Authorities from multiple law-enforcement agencies combed their jurisdictions for nine hours Tuesday until she was found at a Hialeah motel around 3 p.m.
Beneby, 17, lied to her mother because she was afraid she would get in trouble for skipping school to be with the young man, Guerriero said.
“We believe that it was fear, because she hadn’t gone to school, and there was some fear involved as far as her maybe getting in trouble when she got home,” Guerriero said. “That’s the best we could get as far as why.”
Several neighbors however were not surprised to learn that she lied about the incident.
On Tuesday, at least two neighbors said she was “very promiscuous” and they suspected she was with someone she knew.
Another said she would frequently have guests in the home while her mother, a local minister, was not home.
“Her mother lives in church and as soon as the mother leaves at night, there are cars lined up around the corner like taxis at the airport waiting for passengers,” the neighbor said.
Public disdain was high. Several lashed out at Beneby and her family on the Police Department’s Facebook page.
But Guerriero asked for sympathy and said Beneby’s parents also were victims in the case because of the girl’s untruthful story.
“We understand that the community is angry, we’ve seen the posts on Facebook and know they are angry,” she said. “What we want everybody to realize is that this is a child. She’s 17-years-old.”
Beneby will participate in a juvenile first-offender juvenile treatment program and perform community service to avoid a perjury charge, which will be dismissed if she successfully completes the program, Guerriero said.
“It’s a way for her to pay back the resources to the community involving community service,” she said.
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