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Crime

Texas Teen Admits Claim of Gang Rape by African-American Men Was a ‘Hoax’: Police

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Breana Harmon Talbott
Denison Police

A Texas teen who claimed three African-American men abducted and raped her in early March admitted it was a hoax on Tuesday, according to police.

On Wednesday, the Denison Police Department in Texas said via a news release on Facebook that Breana Harmon Talbott’s story was confirmed as “unfounded.”

The 18-year-old was arrested on Wednesday in Denison, Texas, for making a false report to police, the Dallas News reported. It is unclear if she has entered a plea or retained an attorney.

Talbott was reported missing by her fiancé on March 8 and was later found in a church, bloody and wearing only a shirt, bra and underwear.

She claimed to police that “three black males” who wore ski masks had abducted her from her apartment and raped her. There were visible cuts and scratches on her body, according to the release.

“Almost immediately, Talbott’s story and allegations began to unravel,” Denison Police Chief Jay Burch said in a statement. “Within only a day or two, detectives had doubts as to most of Talbott’s allegations.”

Police believe the crime scene — from the alleged kidnapping scene to the church where she was found — was staged and that Talbott admitted that her injuries were self-inflicted.

The release states medical personnel who examined the teen were not able to corroborate that she had been sexually assaulted.

It remains unclear what prompted Talbott to admit to the hoax, Lt. Mike Eppeler of the Denison Police Department tells PEOPLE.

“That’s one part of it that we are still sorting out,” Eppeler says. “There is no clear motive right now.”

Talbott remains in police custody on an unknown amount of bail.

Eppeler says Denison detectives began questioning the veracity of Talbott’s story fairly early on in their investigation.

“A lot of the information we were getting from her just didn’t jive with the evidence we were finding,” he explains, noting “we questioned a couple” of potential suspects about Talbott’s supposed sexual assault but “very quickly determined there was no connection there.”

Police are closing the investigation and the police department said it will seek restitution for costs incurred while investigating the case.

Denison police wrote on Facebook that the teen’s false claims were “insulting to our community and especially offensive to the African-American community” because of her description of her alleged suspects.

“The anger and hurts caused from such a hoax are difficult and all so unnecessary,” the department wrote.