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Glendale woman found in Merced now says she made up kidnapping claim

May 13, 2010 | 10:38 pm

Nancy Salas, the 22-year-old woman who went missing Wednesday while on a run and later claimed to have been kidnapped at knifepoint when she walked into a carpet store in Merced, told Glendale police late Thursday that she made up the story.

Salas said she was under pressure because of her family's belief that she was attending UCLA and would graduate soon, said Sgt. Luis Pasache of the Glendale Police Department. The stress of that situation made her leave, Pasache said.

Salas' family reported her missing Wednesday when she failed to return from her run in the rugged hills of Chevy Chase Canyon, prompting an intensive search with helicopters and bloodhounds. When police learned that she was not attending UCLA as her parents and friends believed, investigators began to suspect she was living a double life.

Salas walked into a flooring store in Merced about 11 a.m. Thursday and asked employees to call 911, saying she had been kidnapped, according to Merced police. She was out of breath but did not appear hurt, one employee said.

Pasache said Salas and her family did not commit any crime in Glendale's jurisdiction. As far as what Salas told Merced police, however, "We're going to let them handle that."

-- Kate Linthicum and Ruben Vives