Carroll prosecutor intends to charge woman over her abduction claim


Carroll County authorities intend to prosecute a Baltimore woman whose claim Monday that she was abducted set off a costly 12-hour manhunt involving police dogs, two helicopters and about 20 state troopers.

The woman, 29, was at first uncooperative with police. She gave a false name, Karen Sullivan, and said she was 20 years old, Agent Angelique Cook-Hayes, a spokeswoman for Baltimore police, said yesterday.

Hayes said the woman, whom police are not identifying because she has not been charged, later told Baltimore officers that she had made up the story because she had borrowed her boyfriend's car and was out with someone else.

Carroll County State's Attorney Jerry F. Barnes said yesterdaythat if his investigation confirms that the woman gave state police in Westminster a false report, he will charge her and seek restitution.

"If her story was a lie, the worst part is that an entire community lived a whole day in fear that a crazed and armed rapist was on the loose in their midst," Barnes said.

Giving a false statement to a police officer is punishable by a maximum $500 fine and a maximum sentence of six months in jail, Barnes said.

Capt. Greg Shipley of the Maryland State Police estimated the cost of the manhunt at $4,000 but said that figure "could easily double" when the flight time for each helicopter is calculated.

Barnes said his office received two early-morning calls from irate Carroll County residents after an article in yesterday's Sun revealed the woman's claim of being abducted at gunpoint on the Baltimore County line Saturday night.

She claimed she was held for 36 hours in a vacant city house and escaped about 8: 30 a.m. Monday after being forced to drive to a remote area outside Westminster, where she said the gunman tried to rape her.

Responding to her hysterical 911 call, state police got a description of the alleged rapist and went door-to-door, checking every house, shed and potential hiding place in the area as police dogs combed woods and troopers in helicopters hovered overhead.

The investigation is continuing, said Barnes, alluding to suspected narcotics police reported seizing from the woman.

Pub Date: 5/09/98

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