Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Mommy dumbest: Missing Bucks woman made up kidnap story

Honestly, I don't know where to begin with this one.

Mommy dumbest: Missing Bucks woman made up kidnap story

Honestly, I don't know where to begin with this one.

By now, I imagine most of you have learned that Feasterville's Bonnie Sweeten apparently meant to say, "We're going to take a plane to Orlando," instead of "We've been kidnapped by two black guys and we're in the trunk of their Cadillac."

Granted, we all make mistakes. But Sweeten -- who will face charges of identify theft and making false statements to police when she's returned to the authorities in Bucks County -- is accused of screwing up in epic fashion. For those just joining in at home, Sweeten, 38, called 9-1-1 shortly before 2 p.m. Monday and tearfully explained to the operator that she and her 9-year-old daughter, Julia, had been abducted by two black men in Upper Southampton.

Sweeten told the operator the kidnapping occurred just minutes after her GMC Yukon had been rear-ended by a black Mercedes. Police said Sweeten sounded genuinely terrified when she stated that both she and Julia were now in the trunk of the Cadillac and being transported to some unknown location.

But cracks began to show in Sweeten's tale almost as soon as the story gained national attention. (Hats off to two loyal PhillyConfidential readers, EagleRob and Towman, who voiced the same suspicions held by many in the media and law enforcement.)

There were a lot of early red flags: Sweeten claimed to have been kidnapped by two criminals who were supposedly savvy enough to arrange a phony accident and abduction on a busy road in the middle of the afternoon -- but these same crooks didn't think to prevent her from making seven 9-1-1 calls? 

More eyebrows were raised when cops said Sweeten's emergency calls were traced to a Center City cell phone tower. Her SUV was found yesterday morning, parked at 15th and Chestnut streets, with a parking ticket from 2:20 p.m. Tuesday. Investigators questioned the odds that Sweeten's alleged kidnappers could have made it from Upper Southampton to Center City in 20 minutes, and the case started to crumble.

Sweeten's friends and relatives publicly wept when they thought she and Julia had been kidnapped. Countless people across the Delaware Valley -- and the country -- prayed for the health and safety of two people they didn't know because they were presumably in danger. Now all are left to wonder what could have possibly convinced this mother-of-three to create such a bizarre tale, and then flee to DisneyWorld with her daughter and $12,000 in cash.

Different theories abound -- marital troubles, accusations of theft from a former employer -- none of which, I think, will ever truly explain this story.

 

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