Featured Story

Cops: Fictitious report leads police scrambling to find woman they believed may harm herself

Southold Town police officers, with assistance from Suffolk County Police Aviation, flooded the Orient Point area Tuesday morning searching for a vehicle that contained a woman possibly trying to harm herself with her three children in the car.

But the woman and her children were never in harm’s way. A fictitious report led police on the frantic search for a gray sedan.

Police received a call from a woman in Florida who alerted police that an acquaintance may try to harm herself, according to police. The caller said she was communicating with her friend via Facebook Messenger. Police began searching for the car anywhere near a dock in the Orient Point area as well as beaches.

Police contacted the school district that the children attend and the school officials were able to confirm the children were accounted for. Police did not disclose the school district.

A Suffolk County police patrol car went to the woman’s residence and was able to confirm that she was safe.

A Suffolk police helicopter arrived in the area to assist the search at around noon, right about as police determined the report was fictitious.

Police determined the woman’s Facebook page had likely been hacked and the messages sent to the Florida woman were not authentic. Detectives are investigating the source of the Facebook messages.

To protect accounts, Facebook recommends several security options, such as two-factor authentication, which is an added security feature on top of a password. Learn more here.

Facebook lists other recommendations to secure accounts here.