MONMOUTH COUNTY - A Fort Lee woman has been charged with creating a false public alarm after allegedly making calls to 911 saying that she was kidnapped.
Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Marc Lemiux says Marian Petro called Monroe Township police and told them she was being held at gunpoint in the backseat of a Mercedes by a black man with dreadlocks. The call prompted a large police response from all over the state, as well as the FBI, and the investigation spanned several towns.
After several hours, police were unable to find the black Mercedes and determined the call was most likely a hoax.
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"You have to take every 911 call seriously," says Lemiux.
On Tuesday, investigators found Petro with her family at a hotel in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. She was unharmed and had not been abducted.
The acting prosecutor warns against this type of behavior. "If we are out investigating false 911 calls, then when someone really needs our help we won't be there," he says.
Petro is expected to be extradited back to New Jersey to face her charges. She could face up to five years in prison and up to $50,000 in fines if convicted.