A $50,000 bond has been set for the man that police say fabricated a false Amber Alert over the weekend.
Mason City resident Mitchell Dutz, 18, appeared in court Monday. He faces counts of burglary, disorderly conduct, making a false 9-1-1 call and obstructing justice after allegedly lying about a child abduction.
An assistant state’s attorney claimed Dutz made up the story in order to receive a ride from police officers. A public defender was appointed to the suspect.
Authorities said he allegedly used a photo from social media of a baby that did not belong to him, and triggered an Amber Alert sent out around the area on Saturday.
A 13-month old was reported abducted when a gold 2000 Taurus was stolen by three men from a gas station in Farmington. For hours, authorities and people everywhere searched for the supposedly missing boy.
But police later learned the report was false.
Dutz allegedly fled towards a Dollar General where a burglary took place. He was later found by police.
Peoria County Sheriff Brian Asbell who was part of the search said the investigation was handled correctly.
“The information at the time of this call that was relayed to the police department, we would have that same judgment to get this information out to the public sooner than later,” Asbell said. “You can not go backwards in time and time is crucial in events like this, where we have a child in danger.”
“We need to be cautious when we put these alerts out,” he continued. “It’s the Boy Who Cried Wolf Theory: If we have an over abundance of false claims that we put out there, the public will no longer consider them valid. “That’s why there are rules in place before you can even put an Amber Alert out.”
WMBD asked the Farmington Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police for comments, and all declined.
Dutz is due again in court on Dec. 26.