Sign in to comment!

Menu
Home

Pennsylvania Mother Who Faked Abduction Tricked Co-Worker Into Borrowing ID

A Pennsylvania mom found at Walt Disney World after claiming she and her 9-year-old daughter were abducted by two men and stuffed into a car trunk, allegedly conned a co-worker out of her identification to use in the hoax.

Bonnie Sweeten used a co-worker's driver's license and presented it as her own when she bought an airline ticket and flew to Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday, Bucks County District Attorney Michelle Henry said, adding Sweeten also used the license to check into the Grand Floridian Hotel at Disney World.

Jillian Jenkinson said Thursday on CBS' "The Early Show" that Bonnie Sweeten's request to use her identification to fix a discrepancy on her 401(k) "seemed innocent."

She said she had worked with Sweeten for nine years, but didn't specify where they had worked. She described Sweeten as a good mother who was always on top of things.

"I think whatever's going on in her life is a way bigger issue than my ID," Jenkinson said. "I hope that she's OK."

Sweeten and her daughter, Julia Rakoczy, were taken into custody Wednesday night at their hotel in Orlando, Henry said.

Click here for photos.

Sweeten is expected to be extradited from Florida Thursday and charged with making false reports and identity theft, authorities said.

Anthony Rakoczy, the girl's father and Sweeten's ex-husband, pick up Julia in Florida Thursday afternoon. It was not immediately clear where they were headed.

"We are taking steps to have her extradited back here to Bucks County to face criminal charges," Henry said Thursday.

Henry told FOX News their understanding is that Julia was out of school for a doctor's appointment.

"I think if you look at the evidence, it appears she was very calculated in this plan," Henry told FOX News. "This didn't happen in a second. It was very well thought out."

Rakoczy was tight-lipped about his ex-wife's actions, only saying that he was exhausted from the events, MyFOXOrlando.com reported.

"I'm just done, and I got to get out of here," the station reported him saying.

A security camera reportedly showed Sweeten and Julia Rakoczy at Philadelphia International Airport, just hours after Sweeten made at least two 911 calls by cell phone saying she was locked in the trunk of a dark-colored 1990s Cadillac.

They had minimal luggage and the hotel was paid through Friday, Henry said. Sweeten had withdrawn about $12,000 from several bank accounts over recent days, but authorities were investigating whether that money had been stolen.

The day she left, Sweeten withdrew $7,000, prosecutors said Thursday.

ABC reported investigators uncovered that Sweeten allegedly was involved in stealing about $300,000 from her former employer, an attorney in suburban Philadelphia.

Sweeten is listed as the director of The Carlitz Foundation, a Pennsylvania-based charity run by lawyer Debbie Carlitz, MyFOXPhilly.com reported.

The charity raises money for autism research and people in Burma, according to the station.

Detectives and reporters had been puzzled by holes in Sweeten's story, and FBI spokesman J.J. Klaver confirmed earlier Wednesday the existence of "inconsistencies" in her account of the accident and abduction. But he declined at the time to elaborate and said those aren't the focus of the investigation.

Sweeten had told emergency dispatchers that she and her daughter were snatched in the middle of the day Tuesday by two men who rear-ended her SUV in suburban Philadelphia, according to police.

When investigators arrived at the scene, they found no evidence of the crash and the FBI and local police found no witnesses who saw the accident that the missing mother described.

And although Sweeten said the accident took place in Upper Southampton Township, a suburb of Philadelphia, Klaver said authorities discovered her 2005 GMC Denali SUV on Wednesday in Center City, 40 minutes away, along with a parking ticket that indicates it was there about 20 minutes after she dialed 911.

The 911 calls were traced to downtown Philadelphia, about 20 miles from the site of the reported fender-bender and abduction. One was picked up by a cell tower only two blocks from where Sweeten's car was found.

Click here to read more on this story from MyFOXPhilly.com.

Click here to read more on this story from MyFOXOrlando.com.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.