12-Year-old in Surprise admits to reporting false kidnapping story

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Suspect sketch By Jennifer Thomas Suspect sketch By Jennifer Thomas
Picture of similar van (not actual vehicle involved) By Jennifer Thomas Picture of similar van (not actual vehicle involved) By Jennifer Thomas

UPDATE on 5/25: The Surprise Police Department has determined the child abduction to be a hoax. Back on May 19 a 12-year-old girl reported she was pulled into a van by two men, but on Tuesday recanted her story after police questioning.

"Although this incident was a hoax, we ask parents to stay vigilant and use this opportunity to talk their children about strangers and safety" stated Sgt. Mark Ortega of the Surprise Police Department. 

Detectives plan to submit charges to the Maricopa Juvenile Attorney for consideration.

ORIGINAL: SURPRISE -- Police officers are searching for two suspects who reportedly pulled a girl into a van in Surprise Wednesday afternoon.

According to Surprise police Sgt. Mark Ortega, a 12-year-old girl reported that she and a friend were approached by two men in a blue van near Greenway Road and 165th Lane shortly before 5 p.m. Wednesday.

The suspects stopped the van and opened the passenger side front door. Ortega said that one of the suspects told the 12-year-old girl that he knew her friends. As she approached the vehicle, the passenger in the van grabbed her and pulled her into the van.

The victim reported that when she called a friend on her cell phone, the suspects immediately released her a few blocks away.

Ortega said the girl was not injured and did not require medical attention.

"We are very fortunate that she was released unharmed," Ortega said. "We urge parents to speak to their children and stress the importance of not talking to strangers."

The suspects are described as males, 17 to 18 years old with long dirty blond hair. The van is described as a faded blue, older-model full-size work van.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call the Surprise Police Department at 623-222-4000 or Silent Witness at 1-800-WITNESS.