Officials: Social media post about Natchez teen’s abduction is false

Published 12:10 pm Thursday, April 4, 2024

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NATCHEZ — A social media post claiming a Natchez teenager had been abducted from one of the Natchez Walgreen’s locations is untrue, local law enforcement leaders said.

The post on Facebook early Thursday morning claimed a Natchez teen was witnessed being abducted from a local Walgreen’s store during the daylight hours. It said the girl’s parents reported the incident to Natchez Police, who allegedly told them they needed to wait 24 hours before filing a report.

That did not take place, said Natchez Police Chief Cal Green.

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Further, the post claimed the girl’s parents contacted a family friend who happened to be a U.S. Marshal, and that Marshal tracked the girl to New Orleans and then Houston, rescuing her and others and “were able to save the Natchez teen and several other girls from the sex slavery.”

Sources said the U.S. Marshal Service confirmed the scenario is fiction.

The post has since been removed from Facebook.

Green said the Natchez Police Department has not received any report of this type of incident. Further, no parent has been told they needed to wait 24 hours if a child is reported missing.

“Missing persons are acted upon immediately. There is no time limit,” Green said. “U.S. Marshals do not take over a case without speaking with local law enforcement.”

Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten said no such incident had been reported to his office.

Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson condemned the fictitious Facebook post.

“It is very sad when we have s many good things happening in Natchez that there are those who would love to rush with news on bad things without fully confirming the accuracy of those incidents,” Gibson said. “I am very disappointed that this practice continues to take place. We have seen many evidences on social media recently from various sources that truly meet the definition of fake news, and it is disappointing to say the least.

“I cannot understand why there are those who would like to see the progress we are making be reversed, but we will keep moving forward nevertheless,” the mayor said. “Positivity always wins over negativity and anyone sharing fake news needs to be on notice: Check your facts before you post.”