- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 6, 2003

A Southeast woman was arrested yesterday and charged with telling police a bogus story about somebody stealing her car with her infant inside.

Sgt. Joe Gentile of the Metropolitan Police Department said Katrelle Regina Henry of the 1200 block of Eaton Road SE contacted police at about 8:30 a.m. to say her car and her 3-month-old had been taken from outside her home after she went inside to get another child.

However, Sgt. Gentile said investigators soon suspected Miss Henry had created the hoax after finding the car but no child about two hours later.

The furious search for the car and a baby wearing blue-and-white pajamas and a burgundy-and-blue hat played out as Miss Henry went on the air of WRC-TV with her tearful request.

“Please don’t hurt him,” she pleaded. “Just talk to him if he cries.”

The 1989 Ford Victoria was found in the 1300 block of Jasper Street SE a couple of miles east of Miss Henry’s home about two hours later. The car seat was on the ground nearby.

Officers became suspicious when they found the infant about 30 minutes later, in thearms of a neighbor and wearing a different outfit. They became more suspicious when they found the baby in dry clothes, despite the constant rain throughout the morning.

Miss Henry, 29, has been charged with making a false report, a misdemeanor that carries a $300 fine or 30 days in jail.

“Fortunately, the child was located safely,” Sgt. Gentile said.

He also said officers from the department’s special investigation team determined that Miss Henry had given the child, Howard Warren Mitchell, to a neighbor before calling police, but he said they still were trying to determine whether she made up the story so police would search more diligently for the missing car.

As police were investigating, Miss Henry appeared more distraught and tearful. She was taken by ambulance for medical treatment and to police headquarters for further questioning.

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