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APNewsBreak: Police to charge W.Va. mom after abduction tale

2 years 6 months 2 weeks ago Friday, April 05 2019 Apr 5, 2019 April 05, 2019 9:41 AM April 05, 2019 in News - AP National

By ANTHONY IZAGUIRRE
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A woman will be criminally charged for falsely reporting that an Egyptian man tried to kidnap her daughter from a West Virginia shopping mall, a police detective told The Associated Press on Friday.

Barboursville Police Detective Greg Lucas said they are going to charge Santana Renee Adams with falsely reporting an emergency incident.

The charge would be the latest turn in a sensational tale of a mother who used a gun to thwart an abduction that quickly unraveled amid inconsistencies in her story.

Authorities on Thursday announced they were dropping charges against the man, Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, a 54-year-old engineer from Alexandria, Egypt, who is in the area for work. He cried as he greeted family members upon his release from jail.

Adams initially told police Zayan grabbed her 5-year-old daughter girl by the hair inside a clothing store and tried to pull her away but stopped when she produced a gun, authorities said. But the story started falling apart when no witnesses could be found and mall surveillance video showed inconsistencies in the woman's original statement.

She later told investigators she may have overreacted and misinterpreted the man's intentions. Zayan doesn't speak English and police say he may have simply been patting the girl on the head.

Adams couldn't immediately be reached for comment.

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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