A 9-year-old North Branch boy lied about his abduction last week, according to police who conducted hours of investigation.
The allegation led to a statewide alert, alarmed parents, and sparked fears that a serial kidnapper might be on the loose.
"He is a bright and articulate young man who got caught up in the story, not realizing how it would evolve," said North Branch Police Chief Stephen Forner, in a statement released today.
The boy claimed on July 9 that he was taking out the trash from his parents' mobile home in the Countryside Village Park when a man driving a four-door, white sedan grabbed him.
The boy said the man covered his mouth, threw him in the backseat, and then drove for about two miles, according to the police. The boy said he managed to escape from the vehicle and run home.