FOX13 Investigates: The cost of false abductions to taxpayers

by: Jim Spiewak Updated:

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It cost Memphis tax-payers nearly $9,000 for police to look for a one-year-old boy that was never missing. 

After hours of searching the city, officers learned the boy was with family the entire time.  Records show MPD sent out 69 officers to one-year-old Isiah Edwards.  


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During the three-hour search, MPD spent $8,700 tax payer dollars in salaries, 230 man hours were exhausted, officers from three precincts were used. 

Special Operations was involved, the helicopter was flown, a city watch and a brief amber alert were issued for Isiah. 

In March, police said Elbenie Edwards, made up a story that her car was stolen with her son, Isiah, in it. 

That triggered the chain of search efforts we later found out were never needed. 

Tuesday we asked MPD Colonel Marcus Worthy what kind of drain this puts on a department that's already short officers. 

“You're pulling assets away from something that can do some good. Now we're over here looking for something that really didn't happen and it puts a toll on the police department. It helps crime go up, you're helping crime when you fabricate stories like that,” Worthy said.

Elbenie, was charged with filing a false report.  That's a felony. 

She's out on bond but is due back in court later this month. 

If Elbenie is forced to pay restitution, MPD could get some or all of the $8,700 back.