BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – A 9-year-old boy reported kidnapped on Wednesday that triggered a two-state Amber Alert apparently died in an accidental collapse of dirt in a lot near his home and another boy who reported the abduction made up the story, police said.
The body of Zane Newton was found "completely covered" in dirt in a field hours after the reported kidnapping. Police said it appears Newton fell into a hole and was buried when it collapsed around him.
"It appears it was a tragic accident," police Sgt. Greg Terry told a news conference.
Newton was reported abducted while playing outside with a boy, who told police that a masked man pulled up in a black car and opened fire on them. The boy said Newton was possibly struck before being taken by the man, who drove off.
Terry said there was no evidence that a shooting and kidnapping occurred.
"It appears that the kidnapping and shooting was fabricated," the sergeant said. He said investigators were questioning the boy, whose name was not released.
Within minutes after the abduction report, officers searched the neighborhood and knocked on doors.
A detective and two patrol officers, who learned that Newton was seen playing in the lot just a block or so from his house, went to the site and found the boy, Terry said.