A Missouri woman is accused of faking her abduction after she and her 4-year-old daughter were found unharmed Monday night, four days after the two disappeared and the woman's boyfriend received a text message from her saying "help me."
Rachel Koechner, 28, and her daughter Zoee were reported missing Thursday by Koechner's mother after the woman's boyfriend received the ominous text. Police worried Koechner and her daughter had been abducted by Koechner's ex-husband, Devon Sandner, 37, who is also the girl's father. The couple has a history of domestic violence, police said.
Authorities instead discovered that Koechner and Sandner had been holed up in a Blue Springs motel smoking synthetic pot with the child nearby, according to Chariton County Sheriff Chris Hughes.
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"Through investigation police learned she fabricated the [abduction] story," Hughes told the Kansas City Star
Hughes said Koechner called her boyfriend Monday from a phone at the Kansas City suburban motel.
"She called her boyfriend and said everything is OK, but it sounded like she was reading off a script," he told the Star.
Hughes reportedly called the front desk while Koechner was standing there waiting to check out. He asked a motel worker if she had been a guest there, and the worker handed Koechner the phone.
"She said she couldn't talk now," Hughes said. "I asked if she was OK, and she said, 'No.'"
By the time police arrived, Koechner, her daughter, and Sandner were gone. All three were found uninjured Monday night at a Linn County home, but Hughes didn't say whose house it was.
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Koechner was taken into custody and remains in Chariton County Jail pending charges. Sandner was arrested on unrelated forgery charges. The child was placed in state custody.
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