March 1, 2012 10:20:00 AM
STARKVILLE -- Call off the dogs, silence the sirens. It was all a hoax.
The Mississippi State University student who was allegedly abducted near South Hall and Mitchell Memorial Library on campus early Wednesday morning recanted her story when interviewed by agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the university said Wednesday.
The MSU Police Department is likely to file a charge of filing a false police report, which carries a maximum sentence of up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Maridith Geuder, director of university relations, said university charges haven't been determined yet.
The student, per university policy, will face punishment that ranges from academic probation to expulsion.
"Student safety is a serious issue and one of our top priorities, and this false report has caused unnecessary alarm and anxiety for our campus community," said Thomas Bourgeois, dean of students. "We do, however, want to remind students that they should always be aware of their surroundings and be alert to conditions that may be cause for alarm."
The university, citing the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act, did not release the name of the student.
Bill Kibler, vice president of student affairs, said the initial notification the university received was that the student was in Birmingham. No one from either the FBI field office or the MSU Police Department would verify exactly where she was found.
At 2:30 a.m., a Maroon Alert text message about the abduction was sent to all students and campus employees. According to the university, the alleged victim called her roommate, who then alerted university officials.
Kibler said the Maroon Alert can be sent via email, texts and posts to the university's web site. He said only the text message was sent because there was no indication, based on the initial report, that there was any kind of danger on campus.
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