Woman accused of faking own abduction to cover up dropping out of college may owe $11,500 for search
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Featured Image Credit: PA State Police/KDKA Pittsburgh
A woman accused of faking her own abduction could face a heavy fine.
Chloe Stein, from Jeannette, Pennsylvania, set off a state-wide search earlier this month when she was reported missing.
The 23-year-old was last seen leaving work at 10.30pm on 1 May, with her boyfriend the last to hear from her via text just half-an-hour later.
Stein's message indicated that she was being pulled over.
Police said they were called on 2 May after her boyfriend and a pal found her car on Radebaugh Road under Route 66 in Greensburg.
Emergency services spent several hours searching the area for Stein, using dogs and a helicopter.
They eventually found Stein during their search later that day after she turned up at a neighbor's house.
She told police that she had been bound and held at gunpoint before being eventually let go.
However, Stein later admitted that she had fabricated the story and had actually been hiding out in a garage behind her house.
According to the cops, a possible reason for her disappearing was that Stein's pals were excited about her graduating from university.
But staff at Penn State Greater Allegheny told the authorities that she had not been to class for over a year.
She was later charged with false alarm to agency of public safety, false reports, obstruction of administration of law and other governmental functions, and disorderly conduct.
And this week, Stein waived her right to a preliminary hearing after lawyers negotiated a tentative agreement.
If the deal is approved by a judge, she will enter a program for first-time, nonviolent offenders, which if she completes, could see her have the record cleared.
Stein could also be ordered to pay back nearly $11,500 in costs for the huge search.
Speaking about the search, Trooper Tristan Tappe said: "We were experiencing severe inclement weather that day.
"At that time, that helicopter should not have been flown in the air and we had a corporal from the Aviation Unit, without hesitation, went up in the air searching for her. It just goes to show … the community and the resources exhausted — we would do it again.”
Stein's lawyer said she was hoping to put the incident behind her.
"It was a very difficult and tumultuous situation and I’m glad that we have some resolve for this situation," said Phil DiLucente.
"We’re trying to put this in her past, she’s going to have a very bright future."