German police launched a massive search in Berlin after the reported abduction of a 13-year-old girl. Authorities now allege the teen concocted the kidnapping plan with a friend to get ransom money from her father.
Police in Berlin launched a massive search operation on Saturday after a 13-year-old schoolgirl was reported kidnapped; however, police now allege the girl faked the whole affair.
Officers said they found the missing girl and her alleged accomplice in a southwestern district of Berlin just after midnight.
Police allege the 13-year-old teamed up with an 18-year-old man, said to be a friend of hers, to stage her own abduction and demand money from her father.
The girl's father reported his daughter's disappearance to authorities after receiving a ransom threat, sparking a large-scale police search. Around 280 police officers and sniffer dogs spent 24 hours scouring the German capital before eventually locating the pair in Schöneberg.
The girl was handed over to the youth welfare office. Her 18-year-old companion was taken into custody and was due to face court on Sunday, accused of extortion and faking a crime.
A police statement said the pair appeared to be well prepared and had even recorded hostage videos.
Germany's Die Welt newspaper reported that the suspects had demanded at least two ransom payments, with the first drop of €4,000 ($4,465) due on the night the police found the couple.