Volusia County girl, 11, facing felony charges, accused of making hoax 911 kidnapping report

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — An 11-year-old Volusia County girl is facing felony charges after deputies said she placed reported a fake kidnapping to 911.

Her report launched a multiagency response and a search on I-95 Wednesday morning.


Sheriff Mike Chitwood said when questioned, the girl said she got the idea from YouTube and thought it would be funny.

“Nothing good comes off that damn internet and now you have an 11-year-old who is now charged with a felony,” Chitwood said.

Chitwood said the girl sent a series of text messages over a half an hour time period warning dispatchers an armed driver had kidnapped someone and was heading south on I-95.

Read: ‘My heart was flying out my chest’: Innocent man put in handcuffs after Volusia County swatting call

“You’re on I-95 for crying out loud. Anything can go wrong on I-95. The potential here for somebody to lose their life, it’s a real danger,” Chitwood said.

Deputies said they eventually tracked the phone texting 911 about the incident to a home in Port Orange where deputies contact the girl and her father.

“I know her parents weren’t happy,” Chitwood said.

Read: Robbery suspect leads law enforcement on high-speed chase on I-95, police say

The girl’s false report is the third in Volusia County in the last two weeks. But Chitwood said there have been dozens over the past several months.

Chitwood said the people who make these false reports will not only face serious charges, they may even have to cover the response costs.

Read: Prank call leads to ‘not credible’ bomb threat at Mantanzas High School, officials say

“I can’t even put an estimate on the cost of all of the resources that were used to go to this swatting call,” Chitwood said.

The sheriff’s office has a series of community discussions planned starting next week focused on kids and internet safety.

Chitwood said the swatting calls will be addressed at those meetings.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.