TBI cancels Amber Alert, says 911 calls were hoax

A Chevy Suburban like the one the caller claimed the kidnapper was driving. (Source: TBI)
A Chevy Suburban like the one the caller claimed the kidnapper was driving. (Source: TBI)

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DYER COUNTY, TN (WMC-TV) - 911 calls that led to a West Tennessee Amber Alert Wednesday afternoon were a hoax, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has determined.

Officials said four calls were made to 911 between 3:30pm and 5:00pm Wednesday. The caller identified herself as 13-year-old Latrice Watson, and said that she and her 10-year-old sister had been kidnapped and were being molested by a 57 to 60-year-old white male.

The caller said all were driving in a red or burgundy Chevy Suburban.

The first 911 call was received around 3:30pm by Dyer County dispatch.  The caller said she and her sister had been abducted, and the man had threatened to kill them if she called police.  The caller said they were driving on a two lane road, and all she could see were woods.

The second call was received about 30 minutes later, with the caller claiming when she told the man she called police, he slapped her.

A third call was received by dispatchers in Pemiscott County, Missouri at 5:00pm.  (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN) The recording of the call began as soon as the caller hit send, but before the dispatcher picks up.  Before the dispatcher answers, a voice is heard telling someone to scream with the dispatcher picks up.  As soon as the call is answered, screams are heard and the caller hangs up.

A final call came in seconds later. (CLICK HERE TO LISTEN) On it, the dispatcher can be heard trying to get the caller to give her the location of the vehicle she is in.

Based on these calls, an Amber Alert was issued by the TBI shortly after 5:00pm, and the Missouri Highway Patrol followed.  In a press released issued Thursday, officials said police have determined no children are missing in either state, and the calls were a prank.

"Law enforcement takes issues like this very seriously and we are now looking for the people behind this prank," TBI spokesperson Kristin Helm said.

Helm said the TBI will file false reporting charges against the person who made the calls when that person is found.

"This is not something that's funny," Helm said. "It's not something to be abusing. It can cost a lot of money, and a lot of man hours by law enforcement. And it's something that someone will be made an example of."

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