Mom accused of falsely reporting baby missing indicted - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Mom accused of falsely reporting baby missing indicted

Left: Mom and baby reunited (FOX19 NOW.) Right: Lamilyan McCollum. (Provided) Left: Mom and baby reunited (FOX19 NOW.) Right: Lamilyan McCollum. (Provided)
Police at the Hopkins St. residence where the vehicle was stolen. (FOX19 NOW) Police at the Hopkins St. residence where the vehicle was stolen. (FOX19 NOW)
The red Ford Focus crashed near Western Hills High School. (FOX19 NOW/Mike Wueste) The red Ford Focus crashed near Western Hills High School. (FOX19 NOW/Mike Wueste)
Na'Cole Benton (PHOTO: Hamilton Co. jail) Na'Cole Benton (PHOTO: Hamilton Co. jail)
WEST END, OH (FOX19) -

A grand jury indicted the mother who falsely reporting her newborn baby was missing and set off a frantic search earlier this month.

Na'Cole Benton, 28, is indicted with inducing panic and making false alarms in the March 3 incident.

Benton's alleged lies sparked an hours-long pursuit by Cincinnati police and federal agencies.

She is accused of calling 911 to report her vehicle was stolen with her daughter, Lamilyan McCollum, who is less than a month old, in her car seat inside.

"Further investigation determined that Ms. Benton had left the home with the infant in a cab and the child had not been kidnapped," Cincinnati police wrote in a criminal complaint. "This action caused the police to initiate a city wide search for the child, an AMBER alert for the child and caused the general public great alarm."

The search set off around 7 a.m. when Benton told police her vehicle had been stolen from the 700 block of Hopkins Street with the newborn in the back seat.

“The fact that the car was stolen is true,” Lt. Steve Saunders at a press conference Thursday afternoon. “The fact that, what was reported to us, that the child was in the car was determined to be false and fabricated.”

While police worked to track down the Ford Focus and infant, Benton took the taxi to a friend’s house, Saunders said.

She later returned to her Hopkins Street home and claimed she found the baby around 9:30 a.m.

Meanwhile, Benton’s stolen vehicle had crashed near Western Hills High School around 8:15 a.m. Two underage suspects were taken into custody.

Police realized the child was not inside the stolen car and continued the search.

A tip led them to a nearby Walmart, where the baby was not found.

After locating mother and daughter, police pieced together the true chain of events.

Saunders said it’s unclear why Benton lied.

Her three children have been placed in custody of Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services.

Saunders said the underage suspects connected to the car theft will also be charged. 

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