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Kansas girl's abduction story was a hoax

INDEPENDENCE, Kan. (AP) -- A popular 16-year-old girl's tale that she was kidnapped at gunpoint from her family's driveway was a hoax, authorities said Thursday.

The police and FBI said Kelsey Stelting acknowledged Thursday morning that "the abduction she had previously reported to police did not happen."

The girl, they said, spent most of 15 hours she was missing Tuesday alone in an area southwest of Independence. Police in Kansas and Oklahoma looked for her while she was missing.

"She said that all of the original statements she made regarding the abduction were false and that she acted alone," the law enforcement agencies said in a written statement.

Stelting had said she was kept in a white van and clobbered her assailant to escape. After her disappearance, the FBI brought in 30 agents and other personnel to join a search that already included police and county officers.

Authorities did not immediately say if charges would be filed.

Reports of the girl's abduction early Tuesday led her fellow Independence High School students and others to paper the area with posters and fliers with her picture.

On Wednesday, police released an audio file and transcript of the 911 call the teenager made, saying a man with a gun had approached her from behind in the driveway of her home about 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, forced her to run several blocks as he followed, then forced her into a white van sitting in front of a lumber yard. She appeared at the front door of a two-story brick house, less than a mile from her family's home, Tuesday night.

Friends and acquaintances described the girl as bright, a good student who is involved in activities such as softball, cheerleading, dance squad and student government. They said they didn't see signs of trouble at home or school or anything to cause them to doubt that she'd been abducted.

"Every single one of us will tell you that Kelsey's a very forthright young woman," Stelting's mother, Kelly Cox, said Wednesday. "If you listen to that 911 call, and I think if you're a mom or a dad, I think you hear in her voice the trauma, that she is afraid."
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