The Great Teen Runaway Hoax

Jasmine Fike is a 15-year-old Colorado teen who had decided she wanted to run away from home. But she didn't want it to look like she'd run away, concocting instead an elaborate hoax that made it seem as if she had been kidnapped by a former drug dealer she'd met only once. (Because if there's any way to prevent people from looking for you, it's to make it seem like you've been abducted. Great, teenager logic!)

Here's how the grift went down:

Last Wednesday at 9 a.m., Jasmine made a frantic and distressed call to 911. She told the dispatcher, "Someone has broken into my house and they are trying to take me. He's here. He knows I'm on the phone. I have to go." (You can listen to the audio here. It's a pretty convincing performance, before she abruptly hangs up.) An Amber Alert was issued, and cops, acting on a tip called in by Jasmine herself, soon swarmed the house of Frank Sessions, a local man with a criminal record for drug-dealing.

It was quickly obvious to the authorities — and at this point dozens of officers and the FBI had gotten involved in the investigation — that Sessions wasn't involved. The local media withdrew the Amber Alert once the real story began to emerge, and Jasmine was finally recognized and arrested on Monday morning outside a fast food restaurant in her home town of Aurora. Her hair was bleached and cut, and she was staying at a nearby motel under an assumed name. [Denver Post, photo via Denver Post, mugshot via Aurora PD]