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Former UCLA student's false report of kidnapping is reevaluated by police for possible charges

May 20, 2010 |  7:36 am
6a00d8341c630a53ef013480bb5cfa970c-250wi The former UCLA student who lied about being abducted after sparking a massive search may face criminal charges in the Central Valley town where she resurfaced, officials said.

While Merced police officials last week said Nancy Salas, 22, wouldn’t face criminal charges for filing a false report, Merced police Lt. Andrew Matthews said Wednesday that his department would forward a report to the Merced County district attorney’s office to determine whether any charges should be filed.

He said the change of heart was not sparked by public pressure, but rather a reevaluation of her false claims.

“We decided to take a second look at all the information we had and listen to the 911 tape,” he said. “Based on that information, we determined a report should be sent to the district attorney and let them determine if charges should be filed.”

Nearly two days after Salas was reported missing last week, she entered a downtown Merced carpet store and called 911, reporting herself as the victim of an abduction. Salas later recanted the story to Glendale police, admitting she had fled to Merced fearing repercussions from lying to her friends and family about dropping out of UCLA more than a year ago.

Matthews said filing a false police report is a misdemeanor that carries a sentence of up to a year in county jail.

A spokeswoman for the Merced County district attorney’s office said she could not comment on potential charges until they have received the Police Department’s report. Read the full story here.

-- Melanie Hicken

Photo: Nancy Salas. Credit: Glendale Police Department