Deputies: Teen abduction was staged incident

By Dawn Brooks, Web editor
Published On: Apr 29 2014 10:20:47 PM EDT
Updated On: Apr 30 2014 12:10:00 AM EDT
Lavender

Family photo

Ankita Lavender

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. -

A 16-year-old girl who called her dad Tuesday night to tell him she had been abducted has been located.

The Clay County sheriffs office determined Wednesday morning that this was not an authentic kidnapping or abduction incident.

Deputies are calling this a 'staged incident' and the investigation is ongoing into the case.

Police said they found the teen on the side of Henley Road Tuesday night, east of Blanding Boulevard, about one mile away.

"Approximately at 10:25 this evening a motorist driving on Henley Road at the intersection of Carlotta observed a white female laying on the shoulder of the road, flat on her back," said Capt. Ronnie Gann with the Clay County Sheriff's Office.

The driver stopped to help the teen and realized she was who deputies were looking for and called 911.

Ankita Lavender told her dad around 7:20 p.m. that she had been taken by two men who pulled her into a white truck near Ridaught and County Road 220.

Officials said the phone had been shut off after Lavender made the initial call.

An Amber Alert was issued Tuesday night.

After Lavender was located, she was taken to Orange Park Medical Center to be examined.

Deputies said she was emotionally upset and complaining of injuries from being thrown from the vehicle.

"There are some things in the investigation that are raising some red flags we've got to work through," Gann said.

Investigators later determined this was not an authentic abduction.

Sheriff Beseler and his staff are meeting Wednesday morning to determine what the next step will be in this case.

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