MARION COUNTY, Fla. — A Marion County woman filed a false kidnapping report in hopes of gaining citizenship, according to deputies.
Deputies said they arrested Alma Duran on July 15 after she allegedly made a false report of a crime.
On March 2, deputies said they responded to the Baseline Golf Course on Southeast 58th Avenue due to a missing person call.
Deputies said Duran, an employee at the golf course, was missing.
Duran’s coworkers called law enforcement officers after they found her lawn mower abandoned.
While the investigation into her disappearance was ongoing, deputies said they received information about a nude woman located on the side of the roadway in the 8000 block of Highway 314.
The nude woman, later identified as Duran, claimed that she was kidnapped from work, rendered unconscious, and left on the side of the road.
Detectives continued investigating for almost four months after the incident.
Investigators said information obtained through search warrants revealed that Duran was on the phone with a man named Luis Guerrero during the time of her alleged abduction. They said that she and Guerrero had spoken on the phone in excess of 100 times.
Detectives said they reinterviewed Duran.
Duran initially told detectives that she had been kidnapped, but when confronted with the evidence regarding Guerrero, she admitted that she had not been kidnapped.
Duran stated that she and Guerrero had been having an ongoing affair for the past five years and that he had picked her up from work that morning.
Detectives said they then interviewed Guerrero, who confirmed that he had been in a relationship with Duran.
Guerrero stated that Duran had confided in him that she was going to attempt to obtain U.S. citizenship by claiming to be the victim of a violent crime such as a kidnapping, a process known as a “U visa.”
Guerrero told detectives that that on the morning of March 2, he picked up Duran at 8:30 a.m., they drove around having consensual sexual encounters. He said that while they were together, he told Duran he “couldn’t do this” and she told him to leave her somewhere up the road and she would take care of the rest.
Detectives then interviewed Duran again and placed her under arrest. She was taken to the Marion County Jail, where she was held on a $1,000 bond.
Investigators said that when the crime was initially reported, they believed it was a sexual assault case. However, due to inconsistent statements by Duran, they do not believe there is any credible evidence to the crime.
“Nothing is more important to me as the sheriff than ensuring violent criminals are apprehended and locked away in jails and prisons,” Sheriff Billy Woods said. “When we received the initial report of this crime, I asked my deputies and detectives to leave no stone unturned in the search for the individual responsible. Duran’s false report took away resources that we could have used to investigate actual crimes that occurred against our citizens.” Sheriff Woods also stated, “Were it not for the hard work of my detectives, it is possible that this woman could have succeeded in her attempt to defraud the U visa process. This case serves as a reminder that the situation at our country’s borders affects what local law enforcement encounters every day.”
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