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Mother charged with lying about abduction that spurred Amber Alert

John Hogan/WZZM-TV • Aug 9, 2018 at 7:00 AM

GRAND RAPIDS — A Grand Rapids woman has been charged with making a false report of an abduction that led to a statewide Amber Alert over the weekend.

Police said Jennell Michelle Ross told officers her car was stolen from a gas station near 44th Street and Kalamazoo Avenue S.E. on Aug. 5. She said her 18-month-old daughter, Jaionna Ross, was inside the vehicle.

Grand Rapids police found the car a short distance away; an empty car seat was inside.

Michigan State Police issued the Amber Alert at about 3 a.m. Sunday. By early afternoon, the alert was canceled after an extended family member of Jaionna told police the child was safe with her.

Detectives determined that Ross, 27, lied about what happened. She was arraigned Wednesday in Grand Rapids District Court on a felony charge of filing a false report of a child abduction.

Grand Rapids police said Ross got into an argument with the child's father and reported the abduction in an attempt to get him into trouble.

“When she filed a completely false report and the Amber Alert went out, it got a lot of people concerned and tied up a lot of resources,’’ Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Catherine Williams said.

Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker said Ross could be ordered to pay for the police response, which he called “extensive.”

“People don’t realize the amount of resources that go into a call like this and how strapped for resources most law enforcement agencies are,’’ Becker said. “Obviously, it has an impact, because Amber Alerts go out across the state.’’

If convicted, Ross faces up to four years in prison. She was released from the Kent County Jail on Wednesday on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

Sunday's alarm was the second Amber Alert issued in a Grand Rapids case in recent days. An Amber Alert went out Aug. 2 after a babysitter took her young charge from Grand Rapids to Benton Harbor. The child was found safe in Benton Harbor and the 19-year-old babysitter was arraigned this week on a felony charge of kidnapping-child enticement.

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