Experts concerned about impact of apparent staged abduction in the Bronx

Posted: Updated:

Police are now investigating whether a 16-year-old girl staged her own abduction in the Bronx, and experts on the matter are concerned about the impact the story is having on the public.

The screams of Karol Sanchez' mother were real, but police sources believe her abduction wasn't.

The incident happened Monday night on Eagle Avenue near East 156th Street as Sanchez was walking with her mother when a vehicle full of men abducted her.

Everything was caught on surveillance cameras. However, sources tell News 12 that it's believed she helped stage the abduction. They say Sanchez's boyfriend-- who has a lengthy criminal record-- is also being investigated to determine what role he played in the plan.

Sanchez was reunited with her family 12 hours after a statewide Amber Alert. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children tells News 12 that abductions-- especially ones like this-- are extremely rare.

The resource center says Amber Alerts are reserved for serious reports and that cases like these jeopardize the public's trust and cooperation when future abductions happen.

MORE: Sources: Missing 16-year-old, boyfriend staged abduction

There were 420,000 reported missing children across the U.S. last year, according to the center.

"These strike at our worst fears, at our inner core when something like this happens, and we need the public's full undivided attention to help save the life of that child, so this is no game and should not be used as a game," said Vice President of Missing Children Division Robert Lowery.

Lowery, a formal homicide unit commander, says across the U.S. they only use alerts about 150 to 200 times per year.

Sanchez's family continues to say that the incident was not a hoax. Police have not made any arrests at this time.

There is also no motive for a staged abduction at this this time. The NYPD commended the public for their tips on this case.

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