An Ohio woman who allegedly faked her own kidnapping is now facing prison because of the bizarre episode, the Journal-News reports.
Authorities in Butler County, Ohio, received a 911 call Thursday morning from someone who reported seeing images and videos on Facebook of a woman who was tied to a pole and whose mouth was gagged with underwear.
The caller said the victim appeared to be her friend, Thelma Williams, and that the kidnapper had apparently hacked Williams’ Facebook account and made posts threatening to kill her.
“Do you think she’ll look pretty with her insides spilled all over the basement floor,” one post reads.
Officers rushed to her house — deploying a helicopter and shutting down a highway — where they found her bound and her clothes ripped.
Williams, 38, initially claimed that a masked intruder broke into her home around 9 a.m. Wednesday.
“She said a person named Tony jumped her from behind, ripped her clothes, gagged her, and tied her to a pole in the basement and then took videos and photos of her he posted online,” Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.
Williams asserted that the kidnapper used her cellphone to record the videos and to post the materials on Facebook. She claimed that before he left, the perpetrator called a contact in her phone and then put the device next to her.
But investigators soon identified inconsistencies in her story and suspected that she had “fabricated the attack to get attention,” Jones said at a press briefing, adding that it appeared she was “posing for the tape.”
The situation has been “one of the most bizarre cases we’ve had in quite some time,” he said.
Prosecutors have charged Williams with making a false alarm, a felony that carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
“I hope she gets a lot of time in jail,” Jones said. “There are so many real victims out there and this is the lowest kind of low to them. I can’t figure it out for the life of me.”
In a Facebook post earlier this month, Williams said she had been grieving the death of her brother who had died the same day in 2016.
Lorin Karol, Williams’ daughter, told WLWT-TV that she was petrified when she saw her mom’s Facebook post, but she doesn’t think it was to get noticed.
“If my mom made this up, it’s not for attention,” Karol said. “It’s because she needs help, not because she needs to be behind bars.”
[Feature Photo: Butler County Sheriff’s Office]