Mom lies about alleged kidnapper trying to snatch 5-year-old in Old Navy store, leading to innocent man’s arrest: Officials

A West Virginia woman has been criminally charged days after allegedly admitting that she manufactured the story about her 5-year-old daughter’s attempted abduction at a mall—a fabrication which resulted in the arrest of a male shopper.

According to WSAZ, Santana Adams, 24, has been charged with falsely reporting an emergency incident in connection with Monday’s incident at Huntington Mall in Barboursville. Adams reportedly claimed she and her 5-year-old daughter were in an Old Navy store when Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, 54, grabbed the girl by her hair and tried to drag her off.

Adams claimed that she brandished a gun, which scared Zayan off, according to police. Mall security located Zayan, who matched Adams’ description of the suspect, and apprehended him at the food court, WOWK reported.

Press Release: Update on Attempted Child Abduction On 4-1-19 at approximately 6:17 PM a call was made to Cabell County…

Posted by Barboursville Police Department on Tuesday, April 2, 2019


How do you protect your children from predators? Join Nancy Grace and a team of world-class experts for the online course ‘Justice Nation: Crime Stops Here’.

Zayan, who is from Egypt, was charged with attempted abduction of a child and jailed on $200,000 bond. However, local police said Tuesday that surveillance footage contradicted Adams’ account and that she changed her story, claiming it must’ve been a “cultural misunderstanding,” according to WSAZ.

The prosecutor’s office lowered Zayan’s bond before he was released from custody. The news station reported Thursday that the charges against him have been dropped.

Zayan and his attorney told WSAZ that Zayan had no idea who Adams and her daughter were and denied that Adams pulled a gun on him. They also claimed surveillance footage doesn’t show Zayan come into contact with the pair.

Investigators are unsure what motivated Adams to fabricate the story about the attempted abduction of her daughter. Zayan’s lawyer explained that her client is in the country to work on a contract. She’s now working to have the arrest expunged from his record so he doesn’t encounter any issues if and when he returns to his home country.

WATCH LIVE as Barboursville Police give an update on the attempted abduction of a 5-year-old at the Huntington Mall.

Posted by WVNS 59News on Tuesday, April 2, 2019


Join Nancy Grace for her new online video series designed to help you protect what you love most – your children.

[Featured image: Sanatana Adams/West Virginia Regional Jail & Correctional Facility]