March 17, 2009
Tim Pratt -
STARKVILLE -- A Starkville woman who told police a man approached her last week and threatened her children admitted Monday the story was a hoax.
Starkville police subsequently arrested Donisha Jefferson, 20, on a misdemeanor warrant for the false reporting of a crime.
Jefferson saw media reports last week about a man who tried unsuccessfully to abduct two children at Ward-Stewart Elementary School, Starkville Police Department Lt. Maurice Johnson said. A friend, who police are still trying to identify, then dared Jefferson to make a similar complaint to law enforcement officials, Johnson said.
Jefferson initially told Starkville police a man approached her around 2:30 a.m. Friday outside her home in the Pecan Acres neighborhood, then threatened her and her children. Jefferson then told police someone left five threatening letters on her door over the weekend, Johnson said.
However, during the course of police interviews with Jefferson, the woman eventually admitted a friend dared her to make up the story, Johnson said.
"It was all a lie," Johnson said. "She had everyone in this area all concerned, and it turned out to be a lie."
The description Jefferson gave police matched a description the Starkville School District released last week of a man who attempted to abduct two children at Ward-Stewart Elementary. Police believe Jefferson copied her description from the Ward-Stewart suspect.
In the Ward-Stewart abduction attempt, a black male in his 20s or 30s, standing nearly 6 feet tall with braids, approached a group of children playing hide-and-seek behind the school. The man attempted to grab two of the children, but was unsuccessful and ran from the scene, Johnson said. The children believed the man drove away in a small black car.
Police are still investigating the incident at Ward-Stewart.