APPLETON – A Menasha woman may face criminal charges thanks to a viral Facebook post. The 25-year-old posted that someone tried to kidnap her child at an area Walmart. The catch? Police say it was a hoax.
A mother took to Facebook saying someone tried to steal her child at Appleton’s east side Walmart Wednesday evening. Pretty soon calls came rolling into the police department.
“From concerned citizens, people that were looking at social media sites,” explained Sergeant David Lund.
The original post reads: “Pay close attention to your children at Walmarts in the area. When I was unloading my car a woman told me how cute my son was. A man came up behind me, telling me I dropped my wallet. When I turned to him, his wife tried to steal my son out of the cart. The post goes on to say, “the Appleton police department are aware and will be viewing tapes. Please watch your children closely.”
Lund told FOX 11 an officer contacted the woman who wrote the post.
“She indicated to the officer that, in fact, an abduction attempt had been made in the parking lot. She gave very specific information about a female and male suspect,” he explained.
But later, the woman called police to take her story back.
“Admitted that it was a hoax and that she had fabricated, or lied about all that information,” said Lund.
We have been unable to contact the woman in question, but some of her friends defended her on social media saying police told her to take back her post to help the investigation.
A claim Lund said is not true.
Walmart officials told FOX 11 they’ve reviewed the security camera footage and tell us they agree with the police findings.
Now Lund told us police will seek an obstruction charge against the woman.
“The obstructing charge is coming from after she was contacted and provided all the false information to our officer,” he said.
That charge is expected to be filed in the next few days.
The original Facebook post and the woman’s Facebook page have since been taken down.
The police also took to social media to dispel any rumors.
Here’s the note police posted: