A shocking abduction of a woman at a Virginia Walmart Sunday night that set off a frantic day-long search by law enforcement and took over local media coverage has turned out to be an elaborate hoax.
The incident took place around 9 p.m. Sunday in a Walmart parking lot in Midlothian, Virginia. A seafoam green sedan pulled up to the grocery entrance of the store. As a man opened one of the car doors, the trunk sprang open and, to the shock of witnesses, a young woman jumped out and attempted to flee.
With the stunned Walmart shoppers looking on, two men jumped out of the car, ran after the woman and caught her, forcing the victim, who was struggling to get out of their grasp, back into the vehicle before speeding away.
"For about a day, local police scoured the area for clues," the News & Observer reports. "Walmart surveillance photos of the incident were posted on social media, with the police appealing to the community for help tracking suspects down. Authorities even called in FBI support to figure out what happened, WTVR reports."
The desperate search for the young woman and her kidnappers ended with the Chesterfield County police announcing that the "victim" and one of her "abductors" had walked into the police station Monday evening and admitted that the whole thing was just a hoax.
The kidnapping hoax was the brainchild of four men and one woman, all 19 and 20, who wanted to catch the horrified responses of onlookers on video. They were then going to post the video on social media to see how many clicks they could get.
Police say the five hoaxers could face anywhere from "a summons type offense to a lower misdemeanor." Below is the report posted by the Chesterfield County police on Facebook: