Police Say Teen Girl ‘Abducted’ in Viral Video Staged Her Own Kidnapping: ‘Karol Smollett’

A teen girl who was dragged into a car while walking with her mother in New York City staged her own kidnapping, according to multiple reports.

Karol Sanchez, 16, was found safe on Tuesday after security cameras in the Bronx caught a group of men bundling her into a car and police issued an “amber alert” to locate her, authorities said.

Later in the day, Sanchez confessed to police that she orchestrated the entire incident with four accomplices, according to law enforcement sources cited by CBS New York.

MORE: Four Men Drag Teen Girl Off NYC Street and Into Car in Harrowing Video


Sanchez’s actions were reportedly motivated by issues with her mother.

The girl’s mother wanted to take the family back to her native Honduras, one high-ranking police source told the New York Post.

Sanchez was vehemently opposed to the move.

An officer escorting Sanchez out of the 40th Precinct station after she was interrogated told the Post she will not face charges.

Footage released by police from two surveillance cameras earlier in the week showed two men getting out of the car, grabbing Sanchez and dragging her inside. Her mother was pushed to the ground while struggling with them. The car, with two other men inside, then sped away.

Sanchez’s reappearance comes after police appealed to the public for help and issued an “amber alert” earlier on Tuesday, a law enforcement tactic that includes blanket cell phone notifications to solve suspected kidnappings.

Several users on social media reacted to the turn of events by comparing Sanchez to alleged hate crime hoaxer Jussie Smollett.

“So we had to start 2019 with Jussie Smollett’s hoax and now end it with Karol Sanchez‘s staged kidnapping?! I am too through! 2020 can’t come soon enough!” tweeted one commenter.

Karol Smollett–I mean Karol Sanchez really set up this foolishness thinking she would get away from her mom and Honduras just to end up back in the same situation but 10x worse in less than 24 hrs smh,” tweeted another.

MORE: Video of Illegal Immigrants Flooding DMV Offices for Driver’s Licenses Goes Viral

Some Twitter users complained about the “amber alert” announcing Sanchez’s alleged kidnapping, suggesting a racial component to the way authorities handled the incident.


Even if the story shapes up that Karol Sanchez somehow staged her kidnapping as an act of rebellion, it doesn’t change that there is still an epidemic of Black and brown girls disappearing with little to no coverage or interest from the media/authorities/local government,” tweeted another user.

(Reuters contributed to this report.)


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