Police: Abduction report was hoax, family was playing prank on young members

OLYMPIA, Wash. — UPDATE: The abduction report was confirmed as a hoax, the Washington State Patrol said at 9:53 a.m. Thursday.

"All those involved have been ID'd and confirmed safe," a trooper tweeted. "Detectives are continuing to investigate & will work w/ the Prosecutor's office for potential charges."

Further investigation by detectives revealed six members of one family and two additional family friends carried out the hoax.

The “prank” was on the youngest two kids, ages 11 and 15 years old.

Police said the family planned the elaborate hoax over weeks to turn a scavenger hunt into an “escape room-style kidnapping.”

A 17-year-old led the young kids to Heritage Park where six adults, ages 20 through 28 years old, were hiding in nearby bushes.

When the kids arrived, the adults jumped out and restrained them, placing them in the back of the family’s truck, police said.

A witness called 911, but by the time WSP arrived, the truck had already left.

The WSP will send their findings to the Thurston County Prosecutor’s Office for charging considerations.

ORIGINAL REPORT: The Washington State Patrol is asking for the public's help following a report of a possible abduction at Heritage Park in Olympia on Wednesday night.

Heritage Park is a 24-acre state owned park adjacent to the State Capitol Campus, Capitol Lake and downtown Olympia.

Officials say Washington State Patrol Communications first received the report of the possible abduction around 10:30 p.m., but by the time troopers arrived on scene the suspects had already fled with the victims.

Witnesses described the suspect's vehicle as a red Ford pickup, with a red canopy, a gray or white hood and either Washington or Oregon license plates.

Witnesses told troopers that five to six men, dressed in white plastic jumpsuits and hoods, restrained three victims with zip ties. Witnesses reported that the victims were asking for help and for someone to call 911.

"The witnesses were only able to describe one of the victims as a young female child between the ages of 4 to 6 years old. They were not able to provide any additional information on the victims," troopers said in a news release.

Detectives investigated the scene for evidence, and were able to obtain surveillance videos (see attached image).

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Washington State Patrol Criminal Investigation Division at (360) 704-2959 or by emailing sistips@wsp.wa.gov.

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