The Russell Ranch community at 179th Drive and Missouri. (Source: CBS 5 News)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -
A boy who claimed two people tried to abduct him on Monday morning at a west Phoenix bus has confessed to making up the story, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office said.
The boy made the story up because "he had a fear of being home alone," said Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"We did an exhaustive investigation and tied up a lot of our resources," Arpaio said.
Earlier, the boy had reported he was walking to the bus stop outside the gate of the Russell Ranch community at 179th Drive and Missouri in Litchfield Park at about 8 a.m.
He claimed a knife-wielding suspect attempted to get him into a gray pickup driven by a second suspect. The boy said the suspect grabbed him by the left arm and stated, "Come with us."
The boy alleged an unknown vehicle pulling into the neighborhood approached, at which point he was able to break free from the suspect.
The boy said he ran home and discovered his parents were not there. At that point, he called 911, Arpaio said.
Shortly after Monday morning's incident, officials at Verrado Middle School, where the boy is a student, had sent a detailed letter home to parents alerting them to the attempted abduction and even praising the boy for practicing "Stranger Danger" tactics in defending himself and immediately contacting his parents and authorities.
Deputies spent the day in the area trying to locate the suspect. Detectives contacted a couple of residents with video surveillance in the area and attempted to view the footage to determine if any usable evidence could be found.
Stay with cbs5az.com and CBS 5 News for updates on this developing story.