Police who were searching for a missing woman and her 4-year-old daughter found both mother and child unharmed, but have filed charges against the girls' mother for faking their abduction.
Local authorities revealed on Tuesday that Rachel Koechner, 28, and her daughter, Zoee Sandner, were found about 100 miles northwest of Kansas City near the Brookfield area in central Missouri.
Police began searching for the woman and her child after her boyfriend contacted local authorities after receiving a text massage that read "help me," according to the Associated Press.
Police officials had thought that Koechner and Zoee were with her ex-husband, Devon Sandner, 37, and could have been in danger given Sandner's history with domestic violence, Chariton County Sheriff Chris Hughes stated.
Police thought the woman and child were in danger after Koechner called her boyfriend from a motel in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs and sounded under duress. Authorities suspected something was not right with the situation, however.
"She called her boyfriend and said everything is OK, but it sounded like she was reading off a script, She said she couldn't talk now … I asked if she was OK, and she said, `No,'" Hughes said in a statement.
"Through investigation police learned she fabricated the (abduction) story … It's a very unfortunate situation, but the good thing is everyone is safe," Hughes said.
Linn County sheriff's police and Missouri State Highway Patrol officers found the trio Monday night in an undisclosed home in Linn County and took them into custody without incident, according to reprots from KMOV.
After a preliminary investigation, Koechner was taken to Chariton County Jail pending charges. Sandner, who was not suspected to have been complicit in Koechner's disappearance, was taken into custody for an outstanding forgery warrant, Hughes said. Zoee was placed in state custody.