CCSO: Woman lied about kidnapping; said she was joking

BROOKLAND, Ark. – After a woman told a man she was being kidnapped, he called police, but the alleged victim became the suspect when a deputy reported she admitted to making the whole thing up.

At about 3:28 a.m.  Thursday, August 10, Deputy Dustin Norwood with Craighead County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Christian Life Center in Brookland to meet with a man – Jake A. Smith, 21, of Paragould, who reported he had met a woman, Rebecca M. Williams, 20, of Jonesboro, on a dating website but never in person.

At some point in the evening, she began texting him that her vehicle had broken down somewhere outside of Cash, the report said.

The conversation took a frightening turn across text messages, when the woman identified as Williams stated a van was pulling up to her and she was trying to hide. Williams then stated that someone was trying to break into her vehicle. The next text said they had found her.

Like the plot of the Liam Neeson thriller Taken, the conversation shifted from Williams texting Smith to a believed kidnapper texting Smith from Williams’ phone.

Some of the text included the person on Williams’s phone stating, “They were going to have fun with her, and he (Smith) would see her at a later date.” Other messages included telling Smith a “couple thousand” would get her back, and “do you know what happened to the boy who tried to save his girl? She died.” The messages also instructed Smith not to call 911.

After Norwood checked with dispatch, a deputy made contact with a woman at Williams’ address saying she was her mother, and boss, and that Williams was actually at work on Windover at a sleep study clinic. At that time, another text came through in front of Norwood saying, “That’s what you get for not answering your phone.”

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Realizing it wasn’t a kidnapping, Norwood cleared the scene and proceeded to the clinic, where Jonesboro officers were on the scene to meet with Williams.

“Upon arrival, I made contact with Williams in the parking lot,” Norwood said. “Williams initially advised she had sent the text messages but they were not meant to be taken seriously. At this time, I advised Williams of her Miranda Warning, which she advised she understood. Williams again admitted to sending the text messages that gave the appearance she had been kidnapped.”

The report indicated the entire incident transpired as Williams was tasked with supervising patients in a sleep study. After verifying someone else could watch the patients in the sleep lab, Norwood arrested Williams for communicating a false alarm. She was booked into jail at 4:55 a.m. and released at 6:09 a.m.

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