Cops: Woman made up tale of missing 7-year-old

A 21-year-old Delta woman was issued a summons Friday afternoon after authorities say she falsely reported that her 7-year-old daughter was missing from the Amtrak train station in downtown Grand Junction.

Summer Leona Smith’s report touched off a multi-agency search for the girl and delayed the westbound Zephyr, which runs between Chicago and California, for an estimated 45 minutes, Grand Junction Police Department Sgt. Stan Ancell said.

Police received a 911 call around 11:15 a.m. from a U.S. Department of Homeland Security agent who witnessed Smith wandering around the train station’s platform and calling out for her daughter.

The agent happened to be conducting training at the train station, 339 S. First St., at the time, Ancell said.

Smith claimed she left her daughter on the bench alone outside the Pufferbelly Restaurant for a few minutes, and when she returned, the girl was gone. Smith said she looked around the train station but couldn’t find her, Ancell said.

Unclear on whether the girl was a passenger on the train, authorities searched the train compartment by compartment but didn’t find the girl. Ancell said Smith also told police an acquaintance might have picked up her daughter.

“Things weren’t adding up quite right,” he said.

Ancell said Smith eventually admitted she made up the report and didn’t even have a child. He said Smith didn’t offer an explanation for why she filed the false report.

Smith was cited for false reporting to authorities, hindering transportation and obstructing government operations. All are misdemeanor charges.

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