A mother and daughter have been charged with making up a story about seeing a man throwing a baby into a river on Christmas Eve, touching off a massive search.

Forty-two-year-old Holly Fowler and 23-year-old Kristine Fowler live near the Merrimac River in Haverhill, about 35 miles north of Boston.

Police say they reported at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday seeing and hearing a distraught man throw a baby into the river from a bridge and then leaving the scene with an empty baby carriage.

The search ended about 10 p.m. when police determined the report was a hoax.

Police didn't establish a motive.

Holly Fowler was ordered held on cash bail and her daughter was released. A phone listing for the women could not be found and it wasn't known if they had an attorney.