After a 16-year-old Black girl was reported as kidnapped in New York City late Monday night, social media sleuths got on the case quickly and helped the name Karol Sanchez go viral. Concerned tweets about her whereabouts and suspicions of possible child sex trafficking filled timelines across the internet until it was reported Tuesday afternoon that Sanchez had miraculously turned up in the same part of the Bronx from where she was reportedly kidnapped.
But while people were rejoicing that Sanchez turned up safe, others were having a problem making the entire ordeal make sense. Turns out, that was because Sanchez reportedly made the entire story up, according to a CBS New York report.
But considering how things played out Monday night, there were still more questions than answers. Namely, why?
The “kidnapping” was captured by a nearby surveillance camera that showed Sanchez and her mother walking in the rain with umbrellas when a sedan raced up to them, Two men jumped out and grabbed Sanchez and put her in the car with at least two other men before the car drove off.
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It appears that Sanchez’s mother was not in on the apparent plan, though it’s still not clear exactly what that plan was and what it was supposed to accomplish.
“She was just screaming ‘My daughter, my daughter, my God, someone please help me.’ She was screaming hysterically. And I was looking, wondering what was going on. She was just screaming in the street,” one witness told CBS New York.
Sanchez confessed to staging the kidnapping after she was reunited with her mother at the 40th Precinct stationhouse on Tuesday, CBS New York reported.
Sanchez was reportedly crying and disheveled when she turned back up near 775 Eagle Avenue in the South Bronx on Tuesday. When she identified herself to the police, they whisked her away in their cruiser to safety.
“She was shaken up. She was bending over, grabbing her knees, and discussing with the police. And that’s when they took her into the parking garage for questioning,” witness Zani Koxha told CBS New York.
Two other lingering questions that were not immediately answered are what she was doing between 11:30 p.m. Monday night and 2:30 p.m. Tuesday afternoon, and where she was during those 15 hours.
CBS New York said Sanchez was not immediately charged with a crime. However, that could change considering the resulting Amber Alert from the reported kidnapping hoax.
In the wake of a high-profile murder of a college student in upper Manhattan, people had been blaming that killing and Sanchez’s reported kidnapping on the NYPD being too soft on crime.