Sources: 16-Year-Old Karol Sanchez Confesses To Staging Kidnapping That Prompted Amber Alert


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 16-year-old girl who was apparently kidnapped right in front of her mother staged the whole thing, sources told CBS2.

The apparent kidnapping in the Bronx was staged by Karol Sanchez, who allegedly confessed to it after being reunited with her family Tuesday.

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No charges have been filed at this time, but police are looking for four male accomplices.

The surveillance video would send chills through any parent: Four men snatching a 16-year-old off a Bronx Street.

Karol-Sanchez-1Karol Sanchez is escorted by a police officer after being located following an Amber Alert on Dec. 17, 2019. (credit: Zani Koxha)


Sources say it was all staged Sanchez, who was unhappy, and four accomplices.

Blurry surveillance video showed the scene in the Melrose section of the Bronx near 775 Eagle Avenue at 11:30 p.m. Monday.

The video shows four men in a sedan pull up to Sanchez and her mother, grab the girl and push the mom to the ground.

The NYPD put out an Amber Alert and flooded the neighborhood with missing posters.

At 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sanchez suddenly showed back up at the scene and turned herself into police as stunned people on the street watched.

“We was at the pole over there, looking at her picture, and we walked up the block, she was crossing the street to to the the cop car, and I was like ‘Yo, that’s her right there,’” said Tommy Feliciano.

“She was shaken up. She was bending over, grabbing her knees, and discussing with the police. And that’s when they took her into the parking garage for questioning,” Zani Koxha said.

Sanchez was brought to the 40th Precinct stationhouse, where sources told CBS2 she staged the whole thing with four accomplices. Family issues are apparently at the root of her unhappiness.

The NYPD wants to talk to all involved before deciding who, if anyone, to charge.

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All day, residents had worried about Sanchez, and kept a close eye on their own children. They worried about Sanchez’s mother. Witnesses say she was distraught Monday night after her daughter was driven away.

“She was just screaming ‘My daughter, my daughter, my God, someone please help me.’ She was screaming hysterically. And I was looking, wondering what was going on. She was just screaming in the street,” one witness said.

Sanchez and her family live in Dutchess County but have been visiting relatives in the Bronx.



Presidential alert system’s first test: If you have a cell phone, expect a call Thursday

presidential-alertjpg-527e2d8414d4a376Cell phone users around the country will receive a presidential alert message Thursday as part of a nationwide test. (Contributed photo/FEMA)

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is testing a new “presidential alert” system this week, allowing for a message to be sent to every cell phone in the U.S.

Here’s what you need to know:

What is the presidential alert system?

The test, being conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, involves a state-of-the-art alert system that will allow a message to be sent to cell phones around the country in the event of a national emergency. More than 100 cell phone carriers will participate in the test, FEMA said, including major companies such as Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile.

FEMA is required by law to conduct a nationwide test of its public alert systems no less than once every three years.

What will happen Thursday?

On Thursday, September 20 at 2:18 p.m. ET (1:18 p.m. CT) or shortly thereafter, anyone with a cell phone will receive a special text message on their phone. The message will have a header “Presidential Alert” with the message “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”

Handsets that receive an alert will initiate a special tone and vibration, both repeated twice.

Has there been a cell phone test like this before?

No, this is the first time the cellular presidential alert system is being tested. These types of alerts were established in 2006 under President George W. Bush to allow the White House to issue notices in the event of an emergency.

Will there be any text charges related to the message?

No, you will not be charged for this test alert or any emergency messages received.

Is that the only test?

No. After the cell phone test, the Emergency Alert System will be tested over television, radio, and wireline video services. It’s the fourth time the EAS system has been tested with previous trials in November 2011; September 2016; and September 2017.

The message will say:

“THIS IS A TEST of the National Emergency Alert System. This system was developed by broadcast and cable operators in voluntary cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal Communications Commission, and local authorities to keep you informed in the event of an emergency. If this had been an actual emergency an official message would have followed the tone alert you heard at the start of this message. A similar wireless emergency alert test message has been sent to all cell phones nationwide. Some cell phones will receive the message; others will not. No action is required.”

When would these alerts be used?

The alerts can be sent at the discretion of the president and can be sent for any reason. The system can also be used by federal, state, local and tribal officials during local emergencies. The same systems can be used to send Amber alerts, extreme weather warnings and Presidential alerts about national emergencies. Users can opt out of receiving weather and Amber alerts but cannot opt out of receiving Presidential alerts.


If circumstances, such as a major weather event, cause the test to be postponed, the back-up date is Wednesday, Oct. 3.