Woman Arrested After Posting False Viral Story About Attempted Child Abduction
Louisville, KY – Investigators have determined that a Kentucky mother’s claim that a couple attempted to kidnap her infant from a shopping cart at Walmart was a lie.
Emily Lyons posted her fabricated story to social media on Saturday, WHAS reported.
She claimed that she and her 10-month-old son, Jaxson, had just finished shopping at the Hillview Walmart store, and that she kept him in the cart as she loaded items into her car.
“I have always been afraid to put him in his seat in the car with the AC because I worried someone would drive off with him in,” Lyons’ post read. “Instead he is in the cart, facing me, making it so I have to reach around him to get my groceries.”
Lyons claimed that a white female suddenly approached them, and commented about how "cute" her son was.
“The next thing I know, a man walks past the cart and tried to take Jaxson,” she alleged. “Within that one or two seconds, my whole world crashed. Thank God he has fat thighs and is hard to get [out of] the cart.”
“I could in those seconds I could see my son sitting in a cold, dark room, in dirty clothes and diaper, being drugged so he wouldn’t cry, waiting for someone to offer the right price,” she wrote. “I have never felt so helpless.”
Lyons described the suspects as a “white man and woman” in their 40s, and said they were driving a black four-door car.
“To that man and woman, may you never be successful in your attempts. I feel so violated, I feel so defeated, I feel so let down by the human race,” she wrote.
Lyons later recounted her harrowing tale during an interview with WHAS.
"He walked past, never stopped walking and just reached in hoping for it to be an easy snatch," she said. "I can remember thinking, 'Oh my gosh, is this really happening?'"
Lyons claimed that the supposed abduction attempt happened rapidly and that she didn’t have time to react.
"It happened so quick I didn't know how to respond," she told WHAS. "I didn't yell for help because by the time I could even muster words to come out of my mouth, they were gone."
"To think that maybe he wasn't going to be there anymore, I didn't sleep last night," Lyons said through tears during the interview. "I was worried. I stared at his monitor all night making sure he was still there."
She claimed she didn’t want to be “Facebook famous for this,” but that she hoped the incident would spur other parents to be more vigilant about their children’s safety.
“It’s happening in your own backyard,” she said, wiping away tears. “How sad it is that our children have to grow up in this world where they may or may not come home if someone's not watching them carefully and they're not taking precautions themselves.”
Lyons reported the incident to police, who responded to the store to review security footage of the alleged incident.
On Tuesday morning, the department announced that Lyons had been charged with filing a false police report.
“She called police claiming her child was nearly abducted from a Hillview parking lot…then took to social media about the incident, causing much concern among the public,” the agency said in a Facebook post. “Investigators reviewed surveillance video and determined that no attempted abduction took place.”
According to police, Lyons viewed the footage alongside investigators, and “agreed that the incident did not occur,” WLKY reported.
The department noted that social media is a “powerful tool” that can be used to quickly inform the public about safety concerns, “but it’s important to remember that not everything reported is accurate.”
“We do our best at LMPD to alert the public to threats to public safety and will continue to post those threats on our official social media pages,” the agency added.
Lyons’ court date is scheduled for October, WAVE reported.