A woman who told Oxnard police Friday that her baby had been kidnaped was charged Monday with filing a false report after her story turned out to be a hoax, police said.
Police Lt. Robert Kelley gave this account:
Nancy Espinoza, 26, called police Friday night to report that her 7-month-old daughter, Cynthia, had been abducted. Espinoza said she had been at the county welfare office on Vanguard Drive that afternoon when she noticed the child was missing.
"Patrol officers burned up a whole lot of investigating time checking various locations and addresses where the child might be, where the father might be, various welfare people," Kelley said. "Later a detective was called out and spent more time investigating."
Espinoza's estranged husband denied any knowledge of the infant's whereabouts, Kelley said. On Monday, Kelley said, investigators determined that Cynthia was safe with a friend of the mother, and that Espinoza had concocted the story to hurt her husband. Espinoza, who has moved from an Oxnard motel to an address on Ramona Street in Ventura, was charged with filing a false police report, a misdemeanor offense.
Kelley said police did not issue a public appeal for help because "her story stunk from the onset." Police still had to conduct an investigation, the cost of which Kelley estimated at several thousand dollars.