By COLLEEN MCCARTHY
The Mississippi State University student who claimed she was abducted on campus was charged with filing a false report Friday.
Jail records indicate Madison Gillette, 19, of Meridian was booked into the Oktibbeha County Jail Friday morning after she was charged and arrested by the MSU Police Department. The student was arrested after she led both local and federal law enforcement to believe she had been kidnapped, a claim that was later determined by investigators to be false.
Gillette was released from jail Friday on a $500 bond.
If she is convicted, she could face up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $1,000 and restitution to the law enforcement agencies.
The MSU Police Department received a call shortly after midnight Wednesday from Gillette’s roommate who said she had called her and said she had been abducted while walking back to her residence in South Hall from the Mitchell Memorial Library.
By Wednesday morning, MSU Police Chief Georgia Lindley said the student was located and the FBI was assisting in the investigation. Later that evening, the university released a statement reporting the abduction claim as a hoax. Investigators said Gillette recanted her story during an interview.
“Student safety is a serious issue and one of our top priorities, and this false report has caused unnecessary alarm and anxiety for our campus community,” said Thomas Bourgeois, MSU dean of students in a release.
MSUPD Detective Brad Massey said both the campus police and the FBI took the claim seriously and the investigation took resources away from other cases. Though Gillette could have faced charges from the federal level, the FBI decided not to pursue the charges.