Law enforcement speaks out on recent incidents

Lee Ann Murphy
Community Editor

Two unrelated incidents, one true and the other false, gave rise to rumors on social media that a kidnapping and sex trafficking ring is operating in Newton County but according to law enforcement officials, this is not the case. No kidnapping or sex trafficking rings are currently working the area.

Newton County Sheriff Chris Jennings issued a statement today about an incident reported to his department on Tuesday.

:Apparently there are stories circulating on social media that a kidnapping and sex trafficking ring is operating in Newton County.  We have no reason to believe this is true. On yesterday’s date 08-25-20 the Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a woman saying she had been held against her will. A 17 year old W/F stated that she was not allowed to leave a house at 11232 Poppy Lane the previous night. We did take a 19 year old W/M into custody and are requesting charges on him for Third Degree Kidnapping. This is a Class A Misdemeanor. The Sheriff’s Office is still investigating but this appears to be an isolated incident involving only one victim. There does not appear to be any other women involved as is being reported on social media.".

This incident did happen.

Another did not.

A report taken on Sunday by the Neosho Police Department regarding a possible kidnapping has been deemed as fake and charges against a 22-woman who told officers an untrue story will be charged. A statement released by Neosho Police Chief Jason Baird on Wednesday reads:

"On 08-24-2020 Neosho Police received a report of a possible “Kidnapping” that had occurred on 08-23-2020 at the Aldi’s Store located at 2551 Lusk Dr, in Neosho. The 22-year-old female victim in the case reported she was followed out of the store while shopping and was grabbed at her car after unloading her groceries. The victim stated she was with the “kidnappers” for around an hour and a half before they returned her to her vehicle unharmed. During the investigation, detectives learned the story could not be confirmed by the grocery store video, etc. The victim was confronted with the information gathered by detectives and admitted the story was false. The 22-year-old victim was taken into custody, and the police department is requesting that the Newton County Prosecutor’s office file making a false report charge against the female. The arrestee’s name is being withheld until formal charges are filed through the prosecutor’s office.”

The Neosho Daily News will be following the cases and will share updated information when it becomes available.

We would also remind readers and social network users that it's wise to confirm information before sharing.