LINCOLNTON, N.C. – A mother lied about her 3-year-old daughter being kidnapped leading to a statewide broadcast on the Amber Alert System, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities in Lincoln County issued an Amber Alert Sunday evening and then canceled it around 1 a.m. Monday after the 3-year-old was found in Washington, N.C.
The child's mother, Mary Bowen, reported to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office that her daughter Christina had been taken from her home by force, and that she and her children moved to Lincolnton just three weeks ago.
Bowen said Troy Lee Koonce, Jr. showed up at her home around 3 Sunday afternoon, then she, Koonce and the children went to the store then returned home.
Then, Bowen says she told Koonce she wouldn't be returning with him to Washington, N.C., and Koonce proceeded to take Christina and flee in his van.
According to authorities, Bowen told them Koonce was a cousin and ex-boyfriend.
Authorities in Lincoln County say they determined Monday that Koonce is listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate.
Charges against Koonce have been dismissed.
Bowen has been charged for filing a false report.
Lt. Johnson said the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office response was for the protection of the 3-year-old child. He said, “We wanted to do all we could do to protect the children of Lincoln County.”