It was a tale straight out of a French thriller.
In the town of Bagnols, France, a 12-year-old boy on the way to see his dentist was supposedly snatched off the street by a mysterious scar-faced visitor. The kidnapper drove to Saint-Gervais, near the Alps, where the boy was able to make a lucky escape.
The boy gave Saint-Gervais police a detailed description of the man – he was European, muscular and slightly shorter than average, wearing a black shirt and light jeans. But despite their efforts, investigators could make no headway in finding the man. He had vanished into the thin Alpine air.
This was because, as French paper Midi Libre reported, he never existed in the first place.
After a month of searching for their man to no avail, police went back to the source. They examined security-camera footage from that fateful day in Bagnols and found no hint of the scarred man in the black shirt and light jeans, and no sign of his vehicle, which the boy had so dramatically described.
They decided to interview the boy again. In the face of newly skeptical police questioners, the boy recanted everything. There never was a scar-faced man, and there never was a kidnapping. He had made it all up.
The motive? He didn’t want to go to the dentist. Running away seemed to be the only option.
It’s unlikely the boy will be charged with a crime, but he will likely face an even worse punishment: a trip to the dentist. Let’s hope lying doesn’t cause cavities.