A mother and her daughter are facing criminal charges after Massachusetts police learned that the pair falsely filed a police report, claiming to have seen a man throwing a baby over Comeau Bridge and into the Merrimack River on Christmas Eve, according to CBS News. Just before 8 p.m. on Thursday, police officials say they received a call from 42-year-old Holly Fowler and her daughter Kristine Fowler, 26, claiming to have seen a man from their home at 170 Washington St., throwing a crying baby over a bridge after saying, "I've had enough."
The mother and daughter also allegedly stated that after the man threw the baby over Comeau Bridge, he hurriedly fled the scene with an "empty baby carriage." The report prompted a massive search, bringing on the state helicopter, a dive team, and fire fighters to help search for the baby that was thrown over the bridge. Nearly three hours later and still no body recovered, the search came to an abrupt end after police officials believed it to be a hoax.
Holly and Kristine Fowler charged after report of baby tossed in river proves false by via Ushome | Mail Online https://t.co/NgxlnRkwJ4The spokesperson for Haverhill police, Dave Procopio, alerted the public via social media about the report about the baby being thrown over Comeau Bridge into Merrimack River on Christmas Eve being a hoax. He stated, "Investigation by Haverhill and State Police – including interviews of two women who claimed to have seen a baby thrown into the Merrimack River by a man on the Comeau Bridge – has led us to determine the report was a hoax. To reiterate, we have determined that a baby was not thrown into the river."
— Latikia (@latikia) December 26, 2015
Apparently, the mother and daughter were interviewed by police separately and both gave stories that seemed to be inconsistent with their initial report, leaving officials to believe their story was a hoax. Although Haverhill police were reluctant to release details surrounding the surveillance footage that contradicted the mother and daughter's initial report, they did say that the footage does not show a baby being tossed over the bridge. "The story wasn't credible and the police will continue to work on it," said Fire Chief Jack Parrow, who was at the scene helping other state and local law enforcements scan the areas near the Merrimack River for the body of a young child.
"It's one of those reports you have to treat as serious unless you confirm it one way or the other," Haverhill Police Capt. Robert Pistone said in a statement. "As to why they did it, that's not perfectly clear yet."
According to Boston Herald, the mother and daughter's motive to make up a story about a baby being tossed into a river was not immediately clear, but an investigation is underway. Local resident Rachid Farhat recalled law enforcement searching for the baby. She said, "The helicopter was hovering over us with lights shining on the river. That's horrible on Christmas Eve to have people and resources wasted like that." Another resident, Kevin Howley, stated that someone falsely telling police officials that they witnessed a man throwing a crying baby over a bridge is "definitely really twisted, especially with a mother and daughter."
Nicole Laponius, who witnessed Massachusetts police and helicopters searching areas near the bridge, stated that she's "glad it was a hoax," and "I can't understand why that would ever happen. There are no words."
After the story about a baby being thrown over Comeau Bridge turned out to be a hoax, Holly Fowler and her daughter Kristine were arrested and charged with "misleading a police investigation and filing a false police report." Holly was held on $100,000 cash bond while her daughter was later released. The pair will be arraigned on Monday at Haverhill District Court.
[Image via Shutterstock]