A 28-year-old mom, who had been reported missing along with her 4-year-old daughter, allegedly faked her own abduction.
Rachel Koechner and her daughter, Zoee Sandner, were reported missing about a week ago after the boyfriend received a text that read “help me.”
They had last seen the pair earlier that same day, Brenda Koechner, Rachel’s mother, said.
“I didn’t know what to think,” Brenda Koechner said.
The elder Koechner says she was worried and didn’t have a clue as to where her daughter and granddaughter might be.
Koechner’s family did not hear from her again until Monday morning when she called her boyfriend to tell him she was OK and to call off the search. Koechner later told police she had seen a television report that morning about her being missing, the sheriff said.
Police feared the mom and child were in danger after Koechner on Monday called her boyfriend from a motel in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs.
“She called her boyfriend and said everything is OK, but it sounded like she was reading off a script,” he said.
Hughes said Koechner was at the check-out desk when he called the motel later and asked if she was staying there. A motel worker handed her the phone.
“When I called the hotel and asked if they were staying there, the hotel worker said “yes, they are checking out,” and passed the phone to Rachel,” Hughes said.
When he told Koechner who he was and asked if she was OK, she answered “no,” the sheriff said. Hughes said when he told her help was on the way she got off the phone and left.
Hughes notified the Blue Springs Police Department, and by the time they arrived at the hotel Koechner and her daughter were gone.
Later that night, their vehicle was spotted more than 100 miles away back in the town of Brookfield. Linn County Sheriff’s deputies and the Missouri State Highway patrol went to Sandner’s home and located the three of them.
Hughes said when he interviewed Koechner she admitted to the faked abduction and alluded to the fact that she and her ex-husband had been planning to go off together.
The couple’s daughter was initially placed in the custody of the Division of Family Services, but was later turned over to her maternal grandmother.