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Columbus, OH — Jessica Pickett, 22, was charged with misdemeanor falsification after allegedly reporting that her car had been stolen with her 4-year-old daughter inside.

Pickett apparently called 911 and told police she had left her child, Janylia, sleeping in the backseat of her car while it warmed up Monday morning. She left the child in the car, she said, so she could round up her other children. When she returned, the car and her daughter were gone.

An Amber Alert was issued. Cell phones alerted, officers searched, tips started coming in. One tip, though, blew Pickett’s story to shit.

“I am trying to call in about that Amber Alert,” the caller said. “She is not missing. She is at her Aunt’s house.”

And she was. Unharmed. She’d been at the aunt’s house since the night before.

When confronted, Pickett reportedly admitted to officers that she had lied. She had just hoped the police would make finding her stolen car a priority.

Pickett was issued a summons and Janylia and her two siblings, ages 5 and 2, were taken into protective custody. Authorities have not yet determined whether Pickett will be required to repay any tax payer dollars used in the search for her daughter.

The car has been found. Police said they have arrested and charged 22-year-old Bradley Stroud with grand theft auto.

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