Buckeye woman could face fine, jail time for faking kidnapping

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Police said Jessica Rodriguez lied about being kidnapped. By Jennifer Thomas Police said Jessica Rodriguez lied about being kidnapped. By Jennifer Thomas

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- Jessica Rodriguez, 22, is proof love can make people do crazy things.

“It put her parents, her mom especially, through hell,” said Avondale Police Department spokesman Reuben Gonzales.

A two-week search for the missing woman from Buckeye is finally over.

“Just yesterday she admitted she fabricated the story,” Gonzales said.

Rodriguez told investigators she faked the kidnapping to go to Mexico to see her boyfriend.

The Avondale Police Department got involved because Rodriguez told her mom she was kidnapped in Avondale.

Rodriguez called her mother on March 30 to say she was kidnapped from the parking lot of the Empire Beauty School, tied up, heading to an unknown location.

Police paid to have her cellphone tracked and it pinged off a tower in Gila Bend.

Hundreds of man hours were spent searching the state for Rodriguez.

The FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, and the Nogales Police Department were also involved in this search.

Gonzales said it was safe to say the Avondale Police Department spent thousands of dollars on the search for Rodriguez.

It's unclear just how much money all of the agencies spent on looking for her.

Gonzales said the courts will decide if Rodriguez will have to pay back the money spent on the false report.

There are currently 158 unsolved crimes in Avondale, including special victims crimes.

Gonzales said detectives, patrol officers and a case agent could have used the time spent searching for Rodriguez solving cases.

Rodriguez could also find herself in jail.

“This is a class one misdemeanor and that's why we're going to have the city prosecutor take a look at it,” Gonzales said.

Detectives were on a wild goose chase for a woman on a mission to see her 19-year-old boyfriend.

Jesus Mondragon is wanted for questioning in a homicide last January. Police said Mondragon fled south and hasn't been seen for months, at least not by officers.

3TV tried contacting Rodriguez unsuccessfully.