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Mom facing charges after Amber Alert, police say 4-year-old was never in stolen car

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - The mother of a 4-year-old is facing charges after reporting her car had been stolen with the little girl inside. Police say she made up the story because she wanted them to find her car faster.

An Amber Alert was issued across central Ohio for the little girl just after 8 a.m. Monday. Police say Jessica Pickett called 911 around 7:30, saying her car had been stolen from outside her home, with her 4-year-old daughter inside. The mom reportedly told police she was loading her children into the car, put the little girl in the back seat, then went back inside to get her other child when the car was stolen.

That prompted a city-wide search, with police saying "every resource" was used.

Investigators say after the little girl was found safely, Pickett confessed the girl had been at her godmother's house overnight. Pickett was charged with falsification.

The stolen car was found a couple miles away, and a suspect was later taken into custody.

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