LATHAM, N.Y. -- Rachael Mattice, the woman who went missing for two weeks, triggering a wide-scale search by law enforcement agencies in Fulton and Hamilton counties before she turned up, has been arrested on charges of falsely reporting an incident.
State Police, along with the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, announced the arrest Saturday at Troop G headquarters in Latham, alleging the 24-year-old Mattice made up the story that she was kidnapped in June while visiting her family's cabin.
“The Rachael Mattice case has been closed following the arrest of Rachael Mattice,” said Major William Keeler, New York State Police Troop G Commander.
Investigators say she claimed she was forcibly abducted and held against her will, locked in small a shed and repeatedly assaulted, then dropped off by her abductor near her family’s Johnstown home.
“We are saying that nothing she said happened,” said Keeler.
Officials say the Mattice family hired an attorney soon after Rachael returned home. Last week, Mattice provided investigators with a description of a man who she claims kidnapped her.
Officials say their doubts were solidified on July 18 when a witness came forward claiming to have given Mattice a ride from a trailhead in Hamilton County to a camp on Canada Lake.
“The camp itself belongs to the boyfriend of Rachael’s aunt. It is a place that Rachael has frequented and that she knows well,” said Keeler.
Prior to her disappearance, officials say Mattice was being investigated for theft at the county health organization where she worked.
“She knew. She knew that we were going to be interviewing her,” said Hamilton County Sheriff Karl Abrams.
Her family declined to be interviewed when Time Warner Cable News visited their home Saturday, but a woman inside defended Rachael, insisting she is innocent.
Mattice turned herself in on Friday to authorities in Mayfield, offering no new information.
“She says she was held continuously between the 23rd and the 6th and we have this witness and we have other evidence that will show that that is not the case,” said Chief Investigator Jeff Ullman, New York State Police.
There is still no official indication on where Mattice may have been during the time she was missing.
Officials say Mattice is scheduled to appear in court in the Town of Mayfield at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 9.