Officers said a 15-year-old's story of abduction changed dramatically during their investigation
The Latino teen initially told investigators on Friday that she was snatched off an Encinitas street, forced into a car, then sexually assaulted by three Latino suspects, who drove around for an hour before pushing her out of the vehicle near the site of her alleged kidnapping.
On Monday, though, sheriff's deputies said they determined that the girl had met a man on the Internet who "convinced the victim to meet him at school." The girl skipped her last class at San Dieguito Academy on Friday, according to police, to meet the man, who picked her up not far from school and took her to an unidentified location, where they had sex.
Afterward, the man dropped the girl off near the school.
"The victim's parents had warned their daughter about the dangers of communicating with strangers online," police said in a news release issued Monday. "The victim was embarrassed, ashamed and scared of how her parents would react to her being victimized by someone she had met online."
Detectives are now attempting to identify the man. Officials said the teen "apologized for creating an atmosphere of fear in the community and now realizes she should have told the truth in the beginning."
The community spent an anxious weekend after the girl's initial report was made public.
"I feel very sick for her and for her family,” resident Lori Parks said over the weekend. “I've never felt unsafe here ... I have a 13-year-old son who walks around here all the time. I've never really felt worried about him."