(NewsNation) — A North Carolina woman who was reported missing now faces multiple charges after being accused of orchestrating a false report about her own murder.
Margaret Frances “Maggie” Elizabeth Sweeney, of Franklin, was arrested on Aug. 21, 2023. The 37-year-old was charged with causing a false report to a police station, false report of death or serious injury by telephonic communication and obstructing law enforcement officers.
Sweeney was reported missing on Aug. 18, WSPA reports, but was found safe the following day after a search. Police said the information they got initially led them to believe she was endangered or dead.
“Sweeney’s actions caused our department, as well as other departments, many hours of work which could have been spent on other matters. Family, friends, and the community as a whole were also very concerned and worried about Sweeney’s welfare,” the Franklin Police Department wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.
“At this time, we have not had any follow-up interviews with Miss Sweeney,” Franklin Police Chief Devin Holland said on NewsNation’s “Dan Abrams Live.” “Once she was arrested, she was released on her own recognizance, and we have not had any contact with her since.”
Investigators believe Sweeney anonymously told a friend and the Department of Social Services that she had been murdered.
“We would like to know the motive and reasoning behind her fabricated hoax of her being murdered. However, we are unable to determine that at this time,” Holland said. “It could be a number of things from a domestic issue could be a mental illness issue or it could be revenge upon her boyfriend, we just don’t know the reasoning behind this.”