Woman accused of faking her own murder after reporting death to friend
A North Carolina woman has been accused of faking her own murder by making false reports to authorities and one of her friends.
Margaret Frances Elizabeth Sweeney, known to her friends as Maggie, was reported missing on August 18.
Police in the town of Franklin launched an immediate investigation after being told there was a chance the 37-year-old was in danger or even dead.
However, she was located safe in a neighbouring town the following day.
Officers continued to investigate claims the local Department of Social Services received a report that she had been murdered, and Sweeney was arrested on August 21.
She is believed to have made anonymous third-party reports to a friend as well as the government office.
A statement from the Franklin Police Department said: ‘Sweeney’s actions caused our department, as well as other departments, many hours of work which could have been spent on other matters.
‘Family, friends, and the community as a whole were also very concerned and worried about Sweeney’s welfare.’
The police confirmed she was arrested for the offences of causing false report to a police station, falsely reporting death or serious injury by telephonic communication, and obstructing law enforcement officers.
Last month, Alabama woman Carlee Russell was arrested after admitting to faking her own abduction.
Her disappearance on July 13 sparked a huge search and became a national story, but she returned to her parents’ house around two days later.
Russell told investigators that she was abducted by a man who came out of the tree line near the highway after she stopped to check on a toddler at the side of the road.
Nick Derzis, the police chief for the Alabama city of Hoover, said: ‘As we all know, actions can have consequences and that’s why we are here today.
‘Her decisions that night created panic and alarm for citizens of our city and even across the nation as concern grew that a kidnapper was on the lose using a small child as bait.’
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