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Orange County

Free Fair Admission With Sob Story May Be Costly

August 01, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A young woman has been charged with making a false report and interfering with officers for allegedly inventing a story about a lost sister to gain free entry to the Orange County Fair, sparking a fruitless search by deputies.

According to investigators and a complaint filed by the Orange County district attorney's office, Amber Anne Miller, 18, of Corona approached fair officials July 18 and told them her 12-year-old sister was lost at the fair.

After Miller filled out a missing-persons report, said county sheriff's spokesman Jim Amormino, she was allowed to enter the fairgrounds to look for her sister while dozens of reserve deputies conducted their own search.

Authorities didn't get suspicious, he said, until "the fair closed at midnight and we didn't hear from her." Although investigators were called in, Amormino said, "there was no sign of [Miller]. Something didn't sound right, because we couldn't even contact her."

Eventually, he said, officers from the Corona Police Department contacted the young woman's parents, who told them that there was no 12-year-old sister. "We were looking for a nonexistent missing person," Amormino said. "The whole thing was contrived to get into the fair for free."

According to the district attorney's complaint, filed July 24, Miller is charged with two misdemeanors: resisting, obstructing or delaying the duties of a public officer, and falsely reporting an emergency.

Neither she nor members of her family could be reached for comment.

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