SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. — One person was taken into custody Friday after officials said a multi-agency search for a woman and her newborn in North Carolina was based on a false report.
Danilla Mitzia “Missy” Bethea, 30, of Rockingham was charged with 10 counts of felony obtaining property by false pretenses and one count of felony false reports to a law enforcement agency pertaining to a missing child.
Bethea was being held at the Scotland County Detention Facility on a $100,000 secured bond.
Earlier Friday, local and federal authorities had hoped to issue an Amber Alert for the baby but were denied because of sketchy information they had been given about the child.
The FBI joined deputies in the search for the alleged newborn and mom across three North Carolina counties on Friday.
Authorities had been told April Morrison was last known to have been in Richmond County when she was eight months pregnant, according to a Facebook post by the Scotland County Sheriff's Office.
Police believed Morrison gave birth to a baby girl two or three weeks ago and was likely staying in hotels between Richmond County, Scotland County, and Fayetteville.
Witnesses told investigators the baby and mother were separated, and two unidentified men took the child to the Fayetteville area.
The newborn, Lee Ann, was believed to be in danger and not in the care of Morrison. Deputies said they had reasonable suspicion to believe the mom is operating under an alias.
Late Friday, investigators said April and Lee Ann Morrison never existed, and the photo of the baby that was used was taken off social media.
"These false statements were allegedly made and provided for the purposes of allegedly receiving money," investigators said in a news release.